Carper, Coons, Carney announce more than $480,000 for youth suicide prevention

Health & Human Services grant will help middle school students

WILMINGTON, Del. – U.S. Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons, and Representative John Carney today announced a total of $480,000 in federal funding for the Delaware Department of Services for Children, Youth, and its Families for the Delaware State Suicide Prevention and Early Intervention Project. The grant will expand the project’s capacity for crisis intervention and response, increase knowledge and awareness of youth suicide and prevention among secondary school teachers, administrators, students, and parents.

“We have a responsibility to give all young people and their parents, teachers and caregivers across Delaware the necessary tools to help prevent this loss of life,” Senator Carper said. “This grant demonstrates our state and nation’s commitment to preventing suicides, and providing high-quality health programs to at-risk, yet often overlooked middle-school aged youth. This important funding for the Delaware Department of Services to Children, Youth and their Families will give teachers, parents and community leaders the resources they need to fill this void of critical life-saving mental and behavioral health services for Delaware’s middle school population.”

“It’s when Delaware’s young people find it hardest to reach out for help that our schools and communities must be prepared to reach out to them instead,” Senator Coons said. “By educating students and adults on the behavior that tends to precede youth suicide, we will help prevent more of our children from tragically taking their own lives. This grant to the Delaware State Suicide Prevention and Early Intervention project will help save lives in our communities.”

“No one should feel like help isn’t available or that their challenges are too large to solve,” Congressman Carney said. “Suicide, particularly by young people, is a very serious issue that impacts every community in our state. This grant will help state agencies, non-profit organizations, school leaders, and young people better understand suicidal behavior and connect those who may be considering suicide with the help and support they need.”

The grant, which is funded through July 2014, will increase the state’s capacity for crisis response, which will directly reach middle school students across the state using an evidence-based intervention known as Lifelines. The system will provide educators and parents with essential information about suicide risk and how to intervene when a youth is suspected to be at risk.

Outreach to adults who work with youth in Delaware’s communities statewide will be provided through the Mental Health Association of Delaware and Family Voices, educating parents, medical practice, and community juvenile justice staff in suicide prevention.

The grant will also support a communications campaign to help increase awareness about suicide prevention with an emphasis on military families.

Suicide prevention awareness and training will be provided to at least 6,250 middle school students and 6,000 adults over a three-year period.