Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities

Comprehensive Local Awareness and Suicide Prevention (CLASP)
Garrett Lee Smith State

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.