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Magellan Health Services Of Arizona Receives National Recognition For Suicide Prevention Program

Today, at the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare’s Mental Health and Addictions Conference in Chicago, Magellan Health Services of Arizona, a subsidiary of Magellan Health Services, Inc. (NASDAQ: MGLN), will receive the National Council’s Award of Excellence in Service Innovation for its Programmatic Suicide Deterrent System.

“We are thrilled to accept this award from the National Council and pleased to donate the $10,000 prize to the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC),” said Richard Clarke, Ph.D., CEO of Magellan Health Services of Arizona. “It is an honor to be recognized for this innovative program and the collaborative effort between Magellan, the Arizona Department of Health Services’ Division of Behavioral Health Services, our provider partners and the many community leaders who make this initiative a success.”

The Central Arizona Programmatic Suicide Deterrent System is a community collaborative with public policy, law enforcement and mental health leaders to change the culture of “don’t ask, don’t tell” that surrounds suicide, empower provider agency staff and families with skills and knowledge to intervene when a service recipient talks about suicide, and create a framework to address this major public health problem.

In fiscal year 2007, the suicide death rate for those with serious mental illness enrolled in the behavioral healthcare system in Maricopa County was reported as 175 per 100,000. Since fiscal year 2009, this rate has averaged 113 per 100,000 for those with serious mental illness – a reduction of 42 percent – in the area Magellan serves (Maricopa County, Ariz. and parts of Pinal County, Ariz.).

“Suicide is a preventable cause of death,” said David Covington, vice president of adult and child/youth services for Magellan Health Services of Arizona. “At highest risk of suicide are those who face life challenges because of mental illness. In particular, the rate of suicide for individuals with a serious mental illness is six to 12 times higher than the rate of the general population.”

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