Illinois Department of Public Health

Illinois Youth Suicide Prevention Project
Garrett Lee Smith State

The Illinois Youth Suicide Prevention Project (IYSPP) supports the advancement of the Illinois Suicide Prevention Strategic Plan by building on the momentum of activities already occurring, improving cross-systems linkages to services and enhancing relationships to build networks of caring communities. The purposes of IYSPP are to:

  • Enhance primary suicide prevention;
  • Support local entities in the implementation of evidence based prevention;
  • Increase linkage to prevention and treatment services for youth ages 10 to 24;
  • Decrease risk factors for high school students;
  • Increase protective factors for high school students; and
  • Increase the degree of statewide support among specific stakeholder groups for sustained suicide prevention activities.

The statewide activities of the IYSPP are designed to increase the capacity to make system-wide changes.

Two strategic communication processes will be held to identify opportunities for system-wide changes:

First, a consensus process will be designed with the many systems that serve adolescents and youth. This cross-systems series of meetings will:

  • Share what is known about the scope of youth suicide in Illinois,
  • Identify strengths and gaps of current policies and practices,
  • Solicit and integrate recommendations for system improvements, and
  • Create linkages to strengthen the continuum of care

Second, a higher education system strategy process will be initiated to help college and university campuses build on the initiatives made by the Campus Security Task Force. This task force was organized after a shooting involving suicide, ended the lives of multiple people at Northern Illinois University in 2008. The goal is to duplicate the system strategy meeting format with other systems of care during years two and three of the grant.

The majority of the program funds will be utilized to implement an evidence-based program and to enhance linkages to services by providing awareness, evidence-based training and interventions, referrals and promotion of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Approximately eight qualifying agencies will be chosen through a Request for Applications process. Priority will be given to agencies that successfully demonstrate they can implement these strategies within systems of care, focus high-risk populations and/or assist in linking centers to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Network.

Data and evaluation from each of the project activities will be utilized to build awareness and to further inform the implementation of the comprehensive Illinois Suicide Prevention Strategic Plan.