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Institute of Rural Health to Receive Grant for Suicide Prevention

July 8, 2022

The Idaho State Department of Education has awarded the Institute of Rural Health with a $40,000 one-year grant to address suicide prevention programming at Idaho State University.

The Garrett Lee Smith-Post Secondary Suicide Prevention Grant, administered by the Idaho Lives Project, is in its initial year, and ISU’s application was the only approved across the state.
 
“The grant will be used to bolster programs already in place, coordinating activities across the campus, or putting in new programming,” said Dr. Erika Coles, affiliate faculty with the Institute of Rural Health. “This is specifically directed to the campus community, helping to identify signs of suicidal ideation and really help educate students about what resources are available to them.”
 
Focus groups, which will include key stakeholders across campus, will be implemented in July to speak to where the areas of need are at ISU.
 
“Mental health stigma may impact whether a person seeks mental health services,” Coles said. “So, we’re ensuring there is training in place for faculty and staff to help identify students that may need that extra support. There is a shortage of mental health providers nationwide, and this is one way we can address that need here on campus.”
 
Coles pointed out that ISU already has several programs in place, including counseling and testing services that are free to students, the Pocatello Counseling Clinic, and a free RESPOND one-day training for faculty and staff that discusses warning signs and actions to take to help someone struggling with suicidal ideation.
 
“We’re very excited about this,” Coles said. “This is a need in communities across the country, and this is one way we can make a difference.”

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