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Institute of Rural Health

Idaho State University Awarded $1.5 million for youth suicide prevention

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has awarded $1.5 million to Idaho State University's Institute of Rural Health for youth suicide prevention projects over the next three years.

The grant will help fund crucial suicide prevention efforts to reduce suicide attempts and completions among 10-24-year-olds. Projects will include training adults to identify warning signs of suicide in children and teens, supporting volunteer associations in self-sufficiency, providing prevention materials to schools, and assisting public safety, health and mental health providers in conducting suicide risk assessments. A series of special Awareness to Action Academies will be held for advocates as well as for public safety, health and mental health professionals.

"Our goal is to address Idaho's high suicide rate by building skills to help children and youth at risk," said Beth Hudnall Stamm, Ph.D., principal investigator for the project. "Idaho currently ranks seventh in the Nation for our rate of suicide overall, and rates for young people are much higher. Suicide ranks as the second cause of death for Idaho's teens and young adults."

"In one year alone nearly 4,600 children and adults aged 10 to 24 die by suicide," said SAMHSA Acting Administrator Eric Broderick, DDS, MPH. "It is the third leading cause of death among that age 18 and younger and a national public health problem that demands immediate action."

Idaho's award, as well as similar grants for 17 other states, are part of the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act funding for youth suicide prevention across the country. It will be administered by SAMHSA's Center for Mental Health Services.

For more information on SAMHSA grants go to: http://www.samhsa.gov/Grants/. For information about ISU-IRH go to: http://www.isu.edu/irh/.

September 2009