Louisiana Department of Health

Louisiana Department of Health
Garrett Lee Smith State

The Louisiana Partnership for Youth Suicide Prevention (LPYSP) proposes to address one of the leading causes of death among LA?s adolescents and young adults: suicide. This initiative advances strategies of the LA S.T.A.R. Plan to strengthen public and private partnerships, cultivate community efforts, mobilize existing resources, expand gatekeeper training, increase awareness of youth suicide and prevention, to provide timely referral resources to families and survivors, to increase support groups for survivors, to strengthen linkages between crisis response teams. After receiving funding from the SAMHSA GLS Grant in 2006, the previously established Task Force transitioned into the LPYSP whose main aims were to promote suicide prevention activities in the hurricane impacted areas of LA.

Under the leadership of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, Office of Mental Health (LA DHH-OMH) this grant expands the youth suicide prevention efforts of the 2001 LA Youth Suicide Prevention Task Force across the entire state. LPYSP is comprised of a broad range of public and private partners. This group serves as the governing body to provide oversight, development, monitoring, and evaluation of program activities.

The project targets 15000 youth and young adults ages 10 to 24 years old, consisting of middle, high school, and college students and professionals (such as OMH, DOE, and 211 providers) that serve this population. A high priority of this program will be early intervention, prevention and assessment services to youth and young adults who are at risk for emotional or behavioral disorders that may lead to suicide or a suicide attempts. Through partnerships across systems, the integration of suicide prevention resources and services in schools, universities, juvenile justice, substance abuse and mental health programs that target at-risk youth populations will increase their competence and awareness of youth suicide risk.

Gatekeeper trainings will be provided to all above-mentioned professionals. A series of evidenced-based trainings for targeted agency gatekeepers will be provided statewide. The emergence of an ?Expert Trainers Team? will conduct a series of ASIST and SafeTALK trainings statewide. In addition, collaborative efforts between OBH, 211 service providers, TeenScreen, Baton Rouge Crisis Intervention Center, Mental HEalth America of Louisiana, Louisiana Federation For Children’s Mental HEalth, church and faith-based organizations will offer activities to teens and college students that include suicide risk/depression screening; gatekeeper trainings, peer helpers training; and stigma reduction and suicide awareness activities such as the annual Yellow Ribbon Media Campaign, Suicide Prevention Walk, and Youth Rally. These awareness weeks reach a total of 6000 youth, young adults and families in LA annually. Through the successful sustainability of 5 existing local coalitions and 5 new emerging local coalitions, the LPYSP will assist communities to develop competence related to suicide risk identification; create and/or improve improve local collaboration; and promote the coordination of culturally appropriate resources.