NEW: Reed Announces $2.7 Million for RI Suicide Prevention and Mental Wellness
Thursday, September 20, 2012
U.S. Senator Jack Reed today announced Rhode Island will receive $2.69 million to help prevent youth suicide and improve the mental and behavioral health care that children, teens, and young adults receive. This federal funding was made available in part by the new health reform law through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Nationally, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the country, claiming more than twice as many lives each year as homicides. According to a 2011 study by the Rhode Island Department of Health, suicide is the third leading cause of death among Rhode Islanders ages 15 to 24 and 8.7 percent of public school students grades six through 12 attempt suicide.
“Many young people who commit suicide have a treatable mental illness, but they don't get the help they need. These federal funds will help provide critical resources for prevention and outreach efforts in Rhode Island to help reach at-risk youth before it is too late,” said Reed, a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee that oversees funding for HHS departments, institutes, and agencies, including SAMHSA and NIH.
Reed is currently leading the effort to reauthorize the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act, named for former Senator Gordon Smith’s son who committed suicide, which authorizes grants to states, tribes and tribal organizations, and colleges and universities for youth suicide prevention efforts.
SAMHSA made the following grant awards:
The Rhode Island Department for Children, Youth, and Family Services will receive $1 million to expand mental and behavioral health services to children with serious emotional disturbances;
The Rhode Island Department of Health’s Youth Suicide Prevention program will receive $480,000 to help schools and community-based organizations prevent youth suicide; and
The Family Service of Rhode Island Children’s Treatment and Recovery Center will receive $400,000 to help treat children who are victims of abuse and neglect, as well as exposed to violence through coordinated trauma treatment networks.
NIMH awarded Brown University $813,114 to study outpatient care protocols for high risk suicidal teens.
Last week, HHS awarded a total of $55.6 million nationwide in new grants across the country for suicide prevention programs in coordination with National Suicide Prevention Week and worked in collaboration with several organizations to unveil the 2012 National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. The strategy is expanding to include additional social media, such as Facebook’s Report Suicidal Content link, which allows users to report a suicidal comment posted by other friends. The toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is also available at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to help people who have suicidal thoughts. Callers are connected to a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in your area, anytime 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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