ERT’s AVERT to be used by Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care in NJ High Schools and Universities


Applied Clinical Trials

  PHILADELPHIA – February 2, 2015 –– ERT, a leading provider of technology solutions and services that increase the reliability and efficiency of high-quality patient data collection, today announced that its electronic Suicide Risk Assessment (SRA) system – AVERT®– will be implemented by Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care (UBHC) as part of the New Jersey Youth Suicide Prevention Project (NJYSPP).  Beginning this semester, AVERT will be used to identify and routinely assess suicide risk among high school and college students in six targeted NJ counties (Bergen, Camden, Hudson, Passaic, Middlesex and Monmouth). Funded by the Garrett Lee Smith Suicide Prevention Grant administered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the NJYSPP is a comprehensive approach to youth suicide prevention, which provides gatekeepers in the counties with best-practice and evidence-based trainings in suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention at no charge.  By using the AVERT self-assessment system, the NJYSPP’s objective is to help school-based gatekeepers proactively identify at-risk students and more efficiently refer them to trained mental health professionals in their community, ultimately saving lives. According to the Center for Disease Control, suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15 to 24 year olds in the United States (2012).  “The NJYSPP is a critical initiative that ensures communities engage in the early identification of youth and young adults at-risk for suicide, and provide the necessary resources to keep them safe,” said Vanessa Arias-Martinez, Program Coordinator, UBHC.  “We are pleased to work with ERT and to incorporate AVERT into the project to help our school administrators and staff identify those students most at risk.” Having been used in over 200,000 healthcare and clinical applications to date, AVERT is a reliable, efficient, and scalable SRA solution.  For the Rutgers UBHC project, students will interact with AVERT in audio and/or visual formats to respond to questions, using the scientifically proven Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS).  AVERT provides a comfortable and private environment for users to provide information on suicidal ideation and behaviors and reduces the risk of non-disclosure and assessor variability.  If AVERT identifies a student at risk, the school’s guidance staff is alerted immediately, enabling them to take appropriate action. “We are proud to work with Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care on this important initiative and to provide New Jersey schools with a reliable tool for identifying students at risk of suicide,” said Jim Corrigan, President and CEO of ERT.  “By offering AVERT as an additional tool in the NJYSPP, they are taking a significant, proactive step in ensuring the safety of New Jersey’s youth.”  

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