Massachusetts Department of Public Health

Massachusetts Youth Suicide Prevention Project (YSPP)
Garrett Lee Smith State

The goals of the MA Youth Suicide Prevention Project are: to create Suicide-Safe Centers of Care to enhance effective treatment and care management of youth at-risk; to develop Suicide-Safe Communities in which prevention and early identification are priorities and treatment and support are available; and to ensure suicide prevention is integrated into state systems to create a Suicide-Safe Commonwealth.

The purpose of the MA Youth Suicide Prevention Project is to reduce the rate of suicide attempts and suicide completions among youth ages 10-24. Two regional hospitals will implement Zero Suicide standards of organizational and clinical practice. Training to enhance treatment skills of clinical and behavioral health providers in treating suicide risk in youth will result in more effective prevention, early intervention and follow-up care for youth and young adults. The high risk populations of focus in these two areas include: rural youth, youth with mental illness and substance abuse disorders, LGBT youth, young veterans, victimized youth and youth who have considered or attempted suicide. Activities in communities focus on strengthening capacities to provide prevention services and early identification, referral and treatment of youth at- risk for suicide through work with schools, colleges and community organizations. System change statewide will be effected by the creation of a Learning Collaborative with the Department of Mental Health and the Massachusetts Behavioral Health Partnership (the Medicaid payor for 1200 providers) for the implementation of Zero Suicide standards and by working with youth serving state agencies to integrate suicide prevention into their services and those of their providers.

Measurable impacts:

1) Increase in identification, referral and treatment of at-risk youth
2) Reduced rates of suicide
3) Reduced rates of suicide attempts
4) Youth voice in strategic planning

147,652 people will be served (29,531 annually) throughout the efforts of this grant.