Florida – University of South Florida

Florida Youth Suicide Prevention (FLYSP) Project
Garrett Lee Smith State

The Florida Youth Suicide Prevention (FLYSP) Project was a collaborative partnership between the Florida Statewide Office of Suicide Prevention (SOSP), the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), the Florida Council for Community Mental Health (FCCMH) and the University of South Florida (USF) to build upon the state’s prior Garrett Lee Smith implementation of the state’s comprehensive suicide prevention plan. Through the creation of an Inter-Agency Dissemination and Collaborative Network (IDCN), the FLYSP Project expanded, disseminated and implemented the state’s pilot-tested, culturally sensitive, evidence-based suicide prevention strategies into three Florida regions (Northeast Florida, West Central Florida, and South Florida including greater Miami).

The goals/measurable objectives of the FLYSP were to:

  1. Enhance the SOSP website in cultivating sustainable partnerships;
  2. Expand the number of culturally competent prevention trainers;
  3. Increase the quantity and quality of adult and youth prevention gatekeepers;
  4. Increase distribution of suicide prevention materials;
  5. Increase family involvement in suicide prevention;
  6. Increase the number of at-risk youths identified by screening and gatekeeper activities;
  7. Improve the quantity and quality of professional assessments of at-risk youth; and
  8. Increase the number of referrals and successful, sustainable treatment linkages for at-risk youth.

To achieve these goals, the FLYSP Project strategically engaged, educated and empowered individuals, families, schools, and communities to prevent suicide morbidity and mortality in selected counties by:

  1. Developing a sustainable mechanism through the IDCN to foster collaborations and create viable networks that disseminated and supported implementation of suicide prevention efforts
  2. Expanding family and community outreach efforts (via the It’s Time to Talk About It Family Guide: 18,223 distributed)
  3. Conducting evidence-based training of adults [QPR, Question, Persuade, Refer, with 6,833 adults trained], mental health professionals [QPR-T, Question, Persuade, Refer – Treatment, with 203 mental health professionals trained], training/screening of students [SOS, Signs of Suicide, with 559 students trained/screened], development/pilot implementation of postvention training for schools [PPSE, Pillars of Postvention for Suicide Events, with 43 school officials trained].
  4. Promoting, enhancing, and supporting existing crisis support services [National Lifeline promotion (36,961 materials distributed), Assessing and Managing Suicide Risk, postvention materials and resources, cross-system referral linkage, and tracking (434 youth tracked)].

Ultimately, these activities were intended to lead to a reduction in youth suicide attempts and deaths. Prevention efforts targeted specific service sectors providing direct services to the following at-risk populations: lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender youth, foster children, American Indian and Latino youths, college students, veterans and military families, survivors of suicide attempts and loss, youth substance users, and bullied and victimized youths. Three applicant regions were competitively selected for dissemination of these activities based on need for suicide prevention programming; previous suicide prevention experience; organizational capacity; established public and private interagency partnerships and referral networks; community and stakeholder buy-in; and commitment to evaluation research. Independent quality assurance and evaluation efforts were conducted by USF.