Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities
The Tennessee Lives Count, Youth Suicide Prevention Early Intervention Project (TLC) is a statewide early intervention/prevention project designed to reduce suicides and suicide attempts for youth (ages 10-24). TLC plans to build on the successes of its first two grant cycles by continuing its gatekeeper training projects but adding components related to youth access to mental health and crisis services and the implementation of postvention plans in schools after a crisis has occurred.
With an annual average of 94 Tennessee youth dying by suicide over the past ten years, the state suicide death rate is 7.7 per 100,000, exceeding the national suicide death rate of 7.1 per 100,000 (2000-2007). The suicide rate for this age cohort further exceeds the nation’s rate in two of the state’s three grand regions (East at 7.9 per 100,000 and Middle at 8.8 per 100,000) (CDC, 2010; TDOH, 2009).
TLC will offer two-hour QPR to 1,500 participants and two-day ASIST workshops to 100 participants, as well as a one-day workshop addressing the issue of suicide among LGBTQ youth for 200 persons working with this population. TLC will coordinate training for 100 Emergency Department staff and 100 clinical mental health providers. All of these efforts to enhance the safety net for youth at risk of suicide will be in collaboration with other federal grant programs and state agency initiatives.
TLC will incorporate a pilot study involving youth identified by Youth Villages Specialized Crisis Service. Of the 26,705 youth screened by Youth Villages between 2007 and 2010, 67.3% were assessed due to suicidal ideation, a suicide attempt, or an active plan for a suicide attempt. As part of a pilot study, 250 youth in the Middle Grand Region of Tennessee will receive enhanced follow-up services to increase referral retention, enhance hope and promote connectedness.
TLC will also develop a postvention plan for a minimum of 35 schools, including a face-to-face training component for school administrators and staff on how to respond in the unfortunate event of the suicide death of a student or staff, as well as at least twenty telephonic and six face-to-face consultations after a suicide death has occurred.
TLC will build a collaborative network as a complement to the TSPN Regional Networks to address suicide among students in higher education. Fifty tenured faculty and long-term staff will receive certification as QPR instructors who will in turn train 12,500 people within their campus community in the program.
Lastly, a targeted social marketing campaign will ensure that at least 100,000 Tennesseans are made aware of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, reducing youth suicide and mental health stigma. All activities and the development of a sustainability plan will be under the oversight of the Tennessee Department of Mental Health, with advisory input from the TLC Youth Suicide Prevention Taskforce and the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network.