Maine Youth Suicide Prevention Program

Building Caring Connections in Maine
Garrett Lee Smith State

Building Caring Connections in Maine will expand and enhance the Maine Suicide Prevention Program, a nationally recognized leader in youth suicide prevention. Strategies include provision of training and resources to key groups; suicide screening, assessment, treatment and follow-up services for youth; outreach to high-risk youth and survivors; and facilitating implementation of legislation requiring public school staff in Maine to receive suicide prevention education.The project builds upon a solid state-level infrastructure of youth suicide prevention resources including a statewide crisis hotline, website and resource center; training, education and technical assistance to schools, health care providers and communities and gathering and disseminating suicide data. The proposed project supports realization of key goals of the 2013 Maine Suicide Prevention Program Plan, developed with significant input from many diverse public and private stakeholders statewide and reflecting the National Suicide Prevention Strategy. Maine is especially noted for its school-based work, specifically bringing the Lifelines Student Lessons and School Suicide Prevention, Intervention and Postvention Protocol Guidelines into the national evidence base and for contributing to nationally produced tools and resources. This project expands statewide education, training and outreach services and offers new screening, assessment, treatment and follow-up services for at-risk youth to age 24.Maine takes a public health approach to suicide prevention. The program is guided by an Advisory Council based upon a public-private partnership. Project goals are designed to support key goals and objectives of the program plan and are tailored to address some emerging priorities in Maine. Priorities include: State legislation passed in 2013 requiring all public school staff to obtain suicide prevention education; the proposed state health plan includes a suicide screening strategy; a expressed need to improve screening, assessment and follow-up practices in School-based Health Centers (SBHC) and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs); and there are increased requests for postvention support.Project goals include facilitating the implementation of school-wide staff education in public schools; enhancing screening, assessment, treatment and follow-up with indicated youth in FQHCs and SBHCs; enhancing training, technical assistance and resources provided to direct service staff in key settings serving at-risk youth such as LGBTQ, tribal, young adults aged 18-24 in non-college settings and military families; strategic outreach and postvention support following a suicide and local evaluation to demonstrate the impact of project activities.BCC ME will result in provision of suicide awareness education to more than 3000 adults and train over 200 adults annually and 600 Gatekeepers in programs serving youth. The implementation of the Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS) will result in screening, referral and treatment of youth in 18 new sites. Efforts to engage high risk 18-24 year olds will impact 200 youth over the project life.