The Center for Health and Learning (CHL) is a no-profit organization dedicated to creating prevention prepared communities in Vermont, by developing and implementing statewide youth suicide and substance abuse prevention and early intervention strategies, through public/private collaboration. CHL has adopted the following goals for the 2011 State/Tribal Youth Suicide Prevention Grant:
- Continue to build sustainable infrastructure in Vermont around youth suicide prevention and substance abuse prevention through collaboration across a broad spectrum of individuals, agencies, institutions, and groups that have not previously been involved, to ensure that suicide prevention efforts in Vermont are comprehensive.
- Continue to increase awareness that youth suicide is a public health problem that is preventable, and reduce the stigma associated with being a consumer of mental health, substance abuse and suicide prevention services.
- Implement effective evidence-based youth suicide prevention and early intervention programs and strategies in schools, communities and Vermont institutions of higher education in order to prevent suicide among Vermont youth and young adults.
To achieve these goals, CHL and its partners will implement strategic/activities including: expanding the Vermont Suicide Prevention Coalition by formalizing involvement of missing organizations and agencies; establishing a divers Youth Advisory Group; increasing the statewide cadre of trainers from a variety of agencies and professions qualified to lead all aspects of suicide prevention; developing cross-agency collaboration in which suicide prevention and substance abuse prevention are linked; implementing a public awareness campaign; implementing a comprehensive school suicide prevention program, based on the Lifelines Program including: administrative protocols, building connections with Mental Health/Crisis, Gatekeeper training, education/awareness for all school staff and parents, and Lifelines student lessons; implementing an intensive community-based suicide prevention program including: training professionals and community members on the Connect/Framework Program including: Gatekeeper training, and professional & community-based protocols for suicide prevention/intervention and postvention; implementing Gatekeeper training for faculty and staff in the Vermont state college system, as well as providing resources and information to distribute to students.
The population of focus for this project will be all Vermont youth age 10-24, with a priority on outreaching, engaging and delivering programs to LBGQT youth and military young adults and their families.