New Mexico Department of Health

Statewide Suicide Prevention Project
Garrett Lee Smith State
New Mexico

The New Mexico Department of Health (DOH) proposes a Statewide Suicide Prevention Project (SSPP) with the goal of reducing the rates of attempted and completed suicide among the state youth.The proposed project expands youth suicide prevention by building statewide capacity in communities and schools to support populations who are at risk of suicide, with a specific emphasis on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ) youth.

The SSPP will enhance efforts of DOH and its partners to provide a continuum of universal, selected and indicated strategies to support NM strategic plan for suicide prevention. Primary partners include University of NM, Center for Rural and Community Behavioral Health, the NM Suicide Prevention Coalition, and the Santa Fe Mountain Center.? SSPP is grounded in evidence-based practices, builds on culturally competent strategies and revolves around intensive gatekeeper training, school and community environment improvement, and means restriction.

Gatekeeper and clinical training will focus on key groups that interact with youth: (1) educators and school health staff; (2) primary care and behavioral health providers, and (3) community stakeholders such as juvenile justice, foster care, social service and parents and family members.Training will use evidence-based practices such as Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR), selected training to address LGBTQ populations, a train the trainer component to build capacity and promote sustainability, and advanced clinical training for school nurses, primary care and behavioral health providers. This will include facilitated peer supervision, clinical behavioral health supervision and case consultation. Process objectives have been established for increasing the number and level of knowledge of individuals who are trained, including new trainers. Training will work toward outcome objectives for improving referral networks and data collection and sharing, with a specific target of improving outcomes for LGBTQ youth.

SSPP will work to improve school environments through implementation of (a) youth-led initiatives for peer support, membership and leadership using programs such as Natural Helpers, Native Hope and Rez Hope; (b) programs that focus on school climate and school safety such as Olweus Bullying Prevention Program and Safe School Ambassadors; and (c) Gay-Straight Alliances. Process objectives have been established to increase the number of schools and students participating in culturally appropriate prevention and intervention programs. Outcome objectives will measure improvement in school climate and reduction in stigma.

The SSPP will include means restriction awareness and education encouraging use of gun locks Means restriction will be incorporated in all gatekeeper training. Objectives have been established for increasing awareness and improved means restriction.

All SSPP activities contribute to student-centered outcome objectives for increasing the number of students screened, identified, referred and receiving services, including increased use of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. SSPP will feature formative and summative evaluation.