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.