Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services

Garrett Lee Smith State

Nebraska’s suicide rate for youth ages 10-24 exceeds the national rate and is the second leading cause of death for Nebraskans ages 15-19. The Nebraska Suicide Prevention Project will reduce youth suicide by promoting culturally appropriate, evidence based prevention practices statewide, focusing on youth at high risk for suicide: youth involved in multiple systems, minority youth and youth in transition to adulthood, including young returning veterans.

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services Division of Behavioral Health provides oversight for the grant. The University of Nebraska Public Policy Center and Interchurch Ministries of Nebraska and the Nebraska State Suicide Prevention Coalition are collaborating partners charged with carrying out grant activities and evaluating the project’s progress.

The project aims to increase general awareness of suicide as a preventable public health issue and to produce measurable decreases in Nebraska’s youth suicide rates through the provision of seed grants for local suicide prevention activities; training gatekeepers and clinicians to screen, recognize and act on signs of suicide; implementing screening for suicide with high risk youth; working with communities to support young returning veterans and military families in Nebraska; assisting the state’s trauma centers to implement means restriction protocols; and strengthening Nebraska’s public/private state suicide prevention coalition. Project activities are designed to support local, regional and state suicide prevention efforts to ensure suicide prevention is sustained in urban, rural and frontier areas of the state. The public/private State Suicide Prevention Coalition will serve as an advisory body for the grant’s project management team as it monitors progress toward reaching grant goals.