Missouri Department of Mental Health

The purpose of the “Missouri Youth Suicide Prevention Project” (MYSPP) is to create a statewide youth suicide prevention response using evidence-based practices and grounded in public/private collaboration. The three major goals for the State & Tribe Youth Suicide Prevention Grant activities are:

1.Transitioning to a sustainable statewide community-based infrastructure that supports a range of suicide prevention activities, including increasing awareness and identification;

2.Enhancing the ability of the youth service system to identify and respond to youth at-risk for suicide; and

3.Improving access to mental health services and the ability to respond to increasing needs.

Target populations are staff and providers from youth serving organizations and Missouri youth and young adults between ages of 10 and 24, with an emphasis on youth who are part of a high-risk population as determined by living in an area with a suicide rate higher than the national or state average; a higher number of suicides than the state average, a self-reported attempt rate higher than the state average (including college-aged youth); or belonging to any subgroup with known high-risk characteristics such as increased substance use, veterans of the armed services, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth (LGBT), or youth who have already attempted suicide. Activities will include a combination of both statewide interventions and intensive services targeting five distinct regions of the state. The MYSPP will provide direct services to an average of 7,000 individuals annually, and approximately 21,000 over the life of the grant.

The project will be administered by the Missouri Department of Mental Health (DMH) and independently evaluated by the Missouri Institute of Mental Health, a part of the University of Missouri-St. Louis. The independent evaluation will assist DMH in assuring youth suicide prevention interventions are evidence based and tailored to the particular needs of Missouri communities.

Miami Dade College

Miami Dade College’s ASAP (Access to Suicide Awareness and Prevention) Program will provide suicide awareness and prevention activities across all eight of the college’s campuses, reaching its diverse population of more than 164,000 students.  As the largest and most diverse college in the nation, Miami Dade College, located in Miami-Dade County, Florida, has designed the ASAP Program with the overall goal of preventing substance abuse and mental illness and reducing the risk of suicide attempts and completions.  In its first year, through community collaborations, the program will create a network infrastructure that can meet the needs of students with behavioral health issues.  In addition, a core group of 20 faculty and staff will be trained as QPR Gatekeeper Trainers.  Through these two primary implementation year activities, a foundation will be established for the substantial scale-up of the program in following years.  In the second year, over 15,000 students, their families, friends, and faculty and staff will be reached, including 400 faculty and staff who will receive gatekeeper training.  An additional 15,000 persons will be reached in the program’s third year through the continuation of educational seminars, distribution of information, promoting the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, and campus-specific activities to raise awareness.

The ASAP Program’s objectives are to develop college-wide policies that support suicide prevention programs with a direct link to the College’s current behavioral threat assessment; reduce the stigma associated with mental health and behavioral health issues college-wide in a culturally competent manner and reaching special populations; and to promote help seeking among those at-risk, as well as increasing the knowledge base of the college community to facilitate awareness and early identification of mental and behavioral health issues.  All of the program’s activities have been formulated to meet the needs of the commuter college aspect of Miami Dade College and to provide flexibility in implementation across the institution’s eight campuses, which each have a uniquely diverse student population makeup.  By the end of the grant period, the ASAP Program will be fully sustainable and institutionalized for the benefit of future Miami Dade College students, their families, friends, and the overall community.

Massachusetts Department of Public Health

The Massachusetts Youth Suicide Prevention Project is working to reduce the rate of suicide mortality and morbidity among young people ages 10-24 in three Community Health Network Areas (CHNAs) of the state identified as having youth suicide rates or rates of non-fatal self-inflicted injury higher than those in the state and nation. Each of the three CHNAs formed a design team/steering committee to take the lead in strategic planning. Goals were organized around the following five prevention areas: Community Outreach and Awareness, Early Identification and Referral, Infrastructure Development, Policy and Protocol Development, and Prevention Services.

Community Outreach and Awareness

  1. Implemented Photovoice project with LGBTQ youth to assess the needs of youth and engage community leaders in a dialogue about the mental health needs of youth.
  2. Organized and facilitated several community forums for adults and youth, reaching hundreds.
  3. Minority mental health forums were held to discuss the mental health of Latino, Black, Hmong and LGBT communities in the area.
  4. Materials were developed by youth, including wallet resource cards, frisbees, water bottles and stress balls with crisis phone numbers, have been widely distributed.

Early Identification and Referral

  1. Implementing SOS and Teen Screen in middle and high schools.
  2. Providing QPR and/or awareness trainings for providers and priority populations, including clergy, EMTs, LGBTQ youth and organizations, middle school, high school and college staff, and youth-serving agencies.

Policy and Protocol Development

  1. Providing consultation/training to school staff in implementing protocols and procedures for responding to youth suicidal behavior and re-entry protocols following a suicide attempt.
  2. Held Post Traumatic Stress Management (PTSM) Training for community leaders to respond to a sudden death crisis situation.

Infrastructure Development

  1. Creation, development and/or expansion of Regional Suicide Prevention Coalitions.
  2. Building partnerships with the community.
  3. Supporting schools that have and wish to create Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs).
  4. Coordinating and supporting school and agency staff training on supporting LGBTQ youth.

Postvention Services

  • Trained survivors to facilitate local suicide specific bereavement groups, and implemented and currently holding several bereavement groups for survivors of suicide.
  • Hosted several National Survivors of Suicide Day events.

Idaho State Department of Education

The Idaho Lives Project is a collaboration among the Idaho State Department of Education (SDE), Suicide Prevention Action Network of Idaho (SPAN Idaho) and their partners to reduce suicide in Idaho (ranked 6th) by targeting youth, ages 10-24, with a comprehensive approach including Sources of Strength, Shield of Care, community gatekeeper training and updated assessment and treatment training for health, mental health, and substance abuse professionals. Entire school communities, including all sub-groups of the population, will be included. The project seeks to ensure that suicidal youth are identified and referred to expertly-trained mental health providers. The Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline welcomes calls for crisis or referral of suicidal people. In Grant Year (GY) 1, an estimated 5,200 Idahoan’s will be served; GY2:10,330; GY3: 15,423; the total for all GYs, 31,000 people. Evaluations will be conducted for trainings and all other services with regular assessment of data collection to produce reports to the project advisory committee for continuous project improvement corresponding to Project Goal 7. Current national research suggests that involving youth in mental health and suicide prevention activities may be the only way to decrease suicide. As 27% of Idaho population is under age 18 (2011), Goal 1 provides Sources of Strength to 42 high schools over three years. This program teaches students to reach out to adults when peers exhibit suicidal tendencies. 20-25% of these students self-identify as depressed in the Idaho Youth Risk Behavior Survey; 1 in 14 has made a suicide attempt. Goal 2 provides for comprehensive suicide awareness and prevention training to the communities surrounding the high schools. Goal 4 implements Shield of Care at juvenile justice centers teaching staff to identify and refer youth who exhibit warning signs of suicide as incarcerated adolescents are four times more likely to die by suicide sometime in their lifetime than their non-justice-involved peers. Universities will provide interns to assist high school students and to take prevention information back to campuses aligning with Goal 5. As Idaho Lives Project connects schools, community, health and mental health, Goal 6 provides strategies for belongingness, connectedness and capability to elementary and middle schools. Idaho is a diverse state with very rural and frontier areas, small towns and large cities. Its people generally espouse the rugged individualism and self-reliant attitudes promulgated by their Western ancestors; many of whom access only their primary care physicians for mental health. Research shows that health and mental health providers need current information related to best practice assessment and treatment to address this population. Goal 3 provides for David Rudd,PhD, an expert in this area, to train these professionals. In addition, three Idaho suicide prevention experts will provide support and mentoring for local behavioral health providers related to suicide assessment. All goals align with the goals of the Idaho Suicide Prevention Plan (ISPP) and the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention (NSSP).

Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities

The Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD) Comprehensive Local Awareness and Suicide Prevention (CLASP) project blends local coalition development and support, protocol development, community awareness, gatekeeper training, school/university-based peer leadership, and advanced training for direct service providers in nine counties and two separate community programs serving Latino and LGBTQ youth. Building on the success of the current GLS Youth Suicide Prevention Project, DBHDD and its partners will expand youth suicide prevention capacity according to the goals and objectives in the State Suicide Prevention and the Georgia Youth Suicide Prevention (in development) plans.

The CLASP project will work with youth aged 10-24 in nine counties. Three of these counties are entering their third year of programming and will be creating linkages and sustainability plans. Two of the counties are in the early stages of development in the current GLS YSP Project and the four new counties have suicide death rates and/or hospital discharges for suicide attempts and/or self reported ideation above the state average, diverse populations and existing youth suicide prevention support. The project is projected to impact 10,000 new students and 500 adult staff per year as the number of participating schools increases to 40. In addition to working directly with six school systems to coordinate the CLASP project locally, DBHDD will expand to work with two community mental health and substance abuse services provider agencies to coordinate activities in the multiple counties they serve.

In the proposed counties, the project will support local suicide prevention coalition development and enhance linkages among mental health, substance abuse, youth-serving agencies, schools, institutions of higher education, and military and veteran programs. It will support a school-based suicide prevention program that combines protocol review with two evidence based practices; Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) training for adult school staff and the Sources of Strength program that develops a diverse group of peer leaders who work school-wide to improve peer coping and help-seeking behaviors and build relationships with trusted adults, mentors and caregivers.

In order to train professionals to use evidence-based practices, the project will offer a comprehensive training package to include: QPR gatekeeper training; Annual Professional Seminar Series on Critical Issues Facing At-Risk Children; Assessing and Managing Suicide Risk; Counseling on Access to Lethal Means; Working with Those Bereaved by Suicide in the Professional Setting: Postvention Strategies; Mental Health First Aid; and suicide prevention toolkits for primary care physicians. Training will be proximal to the selected counties, and be open to over a 1000 professionals annually in communities throughout the state.

Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services

The CT Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services in partnership with state agencies, the CT VA, universities and behavioral health providers will collaborate to bring sustainable evidence-based, suicide prevention and mental health promotion policies, practices and programs to scale at institutions of higher education statewide for students up to age 24. A total of 8,715 students will receive screening, brief interventions and mental health services over three years. The CT Campus Suicide Prevention Initiative (CCSPI) will build campus infrastructure to enhance suicide prevention efforts and linkages to existing systems of care including CTs Military Support Program and behavioral health providers to address recommendations identified in the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention, CT Comprehensive Suicide Prevention Plan, and the CT Youth Suicide Advisory Board (YSAB) recommendations for this population. The CCSPI will also build on the work of the YSAB and the infrastructure developed through DMHAS’s previous cohort 2 Garrett Lee Smith Grant. The YSAB will serve as advisory to the CCSPI, providing feedback and guidance to staff and partners, ensuring that the initiative addresses the needs of the students and satisfies the requirements of the federal grant. The project will enhance the breadth and scope of behavioral health services provided through CT’s Statewide Healthy Campus Initiative (CSHCI). The CSHCI is comprised of over 30 institutions of higher education, state government officials, and community organizations whose mission is to serve as a catalyst for creating and sustaining healthy campus and community environments.

The CCSPI, will use SAMHSA’s Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF) and the national Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC)/JED Foundation’s Comprehensive Approach to Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Promotion to enhance the number of colleges statewide with infrastructure and evidenced-based services for students at risk. Through training and technical assistance, campuses will develop and expand a continuum of suicide prevention services and increase the number of students who are referred to and receive mental health services. Students served will include, but not be limited to, those with mental health needs veterans, active duty military personnel and members of their family, students of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) orientation, Latina, and those who are survivors of suicide attempts and bereaved by suicide. Funded campuses will work with DMHAS and the SPRC to assess gaps in services and identify evidence-based strategies appropriate for their unique campus needs. Campus personnel, peer educators and student organizations and cultural centers, will be engaged to participate in related health and wellness strategies. The UCHC will conduct a process and outcome evaluation of the proposed initiative through documenting and assessing statewide and campus level infrastructure and suicide prevention interventions, and will work with staff to ensure that all national cross-site evaluation requirements are met.

Connecticut College

Suicide is a major public health problem and has become an important topic on college campuses today. The purpose of the Connecticut College Campus Suicide Prevention grant proposal is to enhance services for students with mental and behavioral health problems by providing a comprehensive array of services within the campus community, using a public health approach, to enhance the ability to identify and assess students at risk and to raise the skill level of the various campus helpers to make appropriate referrals of students whose behavior indicates they are at risk for mental and behavioral health problems, including suicide. This will be achieved by developing training programs for students and campus personnel, by enhancing the existing campus networking infrastructure, by creating campus-wide policies and procedures to address campus crises including suicide, by providing psychosocial education in the form of seminars, by distributing materials to the college community and to families, and by creating links to community resources and suicide hotlines. Much of the focus will be on identification and referral of students with mental and behavioral health issues, including affective disorders, substance abuse disorders, and suicide.

Thus, the proposed Connecticut College suicide prevention project will utilize handing to implement an education/public health approach to suicide prevention by promoting enhanced knowledge and awareness of suicide prevention throughout the campus and by enhancing and expanding existing networking infrastructure of campus support services for students.

Alabama Department of Public Health

The purpose of the Youth Suicide Prevention and Awareness Program is to implement a comprehensive suicide prevention, education, and awareness campaign, increase access to services, and increase suicide related surveillance across Alabama’s resident and transient populations, via utilization of Crisis Centers, Universities, nonprofit organizations, and local and state resources. Alabama the Alabama Suicide Prevention and Resource Coalition (ASPARC), the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH), the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and three crisis centers located in north, central, and south Alabama will be engaged in this initiative, allowing for a dissemination range from the State level, to local and community level. This multifaceted approach will allow for a larger degree of community engagement and local buy in as well as a multiple exposure methods to Alabama’s populations, which suffered from 14.2 suicides per 100,000 populations in 2009, and have seen higher rates than the U.S. average since 1989.

An awareness and educational campaign, QPR training to increase the knowledge and self efficacy of individuals in recognizing and making referrals, educational sessions conducted in communities, schools, and universities, increased access to call line services, referrals, and counseling, and media exposure, will all work to increase the education of suicide prevention, and reduce the number of suicides in Alabama. These initiatives will include conducting a minimum of 72 educational sessions in schools, communities, universities and juvenile justice systems and veteran’s organizations, training a minimum of 1,500 QPR Gatekeepers, increasing crisis call line availability, and lowering the number of students self-reporting suicidal ideation on surveys from 30% to 20%. The educational and awareness campaign will consist of message development, ten audio podcasts and a cell phone application. In addition, efforts to utilize social media, social networking, and local publications will be undertaken.

This project expects to form alliances with different agencies, groups, or organizations measured through MOUs, letter of supports, or contracts. Qualitative measures of knowledge and educational efforts will be measured through pre and post surveys. The creation of a web-based data collection mechanism that will be added to the existing infrastructure will assist with data collection for surveillance and follow-up from helpline calls and referrals. We expect the number of individuals reached and the number of organizations involved to increase each year of the grant. All objectives will be monitored for the entirety of the project for assessment and evaluation.

Western Oregon University

The overall goal of the Western Oregon University (WOU) Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Promotion Project (SPMHPP) is to strengthen the WOU infrastructure by developing a comprehensive, collaborative, effective, and culturally inclusive approach to suicide prevention and mental health promotion on campus. Major components of SPMHPP are to develop additional protocols to strengthen the suicide response system on campus; to create a web presence for suicide prevention and mental health promotion; to train students, faculty, and staff in the risk factors and warning signs of suicide and how to intervene; to reduce the stigma associated with help-seeking behavior; and to increase the awareness and utilization of resources. This project will serve approximately 5,400 students for the duration of the grant. WOU has an annual enrollment of 5,400 students. The campus population is primarily White (65%). Hispanic/Latino students comprise approximately 13% of the student body, American Indian/Alaska Natives 2%, Black/African American 4%, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander 3%, Asian 3%, and unknown 4%. International Students represent 6% of the student body, with the primary countries of origin being Saudi Arabia, China, Japan, and South Korea. Activities will be designed to address the needs of high-risk student populations such as first-generation, low-income, Hispanic, veterans and military families, American Indian and Alaskan Natives, and students who identify as LGBTQ+. The project has identified the following six objectives as our foci:

(1) establish a Suicide Prevention Task Force;

(2) develop postvention protocols for supporting the campus in the event of a student suicide;

(3) increase the capacity for staff, faculty, and student leaders to respond to, assist, and refer students at risk through gatekeeper training;

(4) develop and implement ongoing educational programs/seminars/events on suicide prevention and mental health promotion, some of which will be designed to engage and respond to at-risk students (e.g., first generation, low income, LGBTQ+, veterans, American Indian/Alaskan Native, Hispanic);

(5) develop and disseminate informational materials addressing issues related to suicide that are culturally and linguistically appropriate for students and families; and

(6) promote the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and local suicide prevention hotlines within the campus community. Additionally, we will evaluate all components of the project through process, performance, and outcome measures.

West Virginia Bureau for Behavioral Health

West Virginia will implement this grant statewide through the West Virginia Bureau for Behavioral Health’s six regions, in partnership with Prevent Suicide WV and the Regional Youth Service Centers, to serve youths aged 10-24 at risk of suicide through suicide prevention and early intervention strategies in schools, higher education institutions, juvenile justice and foster care systems, substance use prevention and treatment programs, mental health programs, and other youth-serving organizations. This grant will build upon the state’s prior GLS grants, which made great strides in suicide prevention education and policy in schools and higher education institutions, to crystallize systemic integration of suicide risk screening, assessment, referral safety planning, and follow-up in other youth-serving settings, including primary care, emergency department, and psychiatric settings. The overarching goal is to reduce youth suicides through a seamless, sustainable, accessible continuum of care for youths at risk of suicide in the state.