$1.44 million federal grant will focus on preventing youth suicides

The Missouri Institute of Mental Health at UMSL is the recipient of a $1.44 million federal grant for a youth suicide prevention program collaboration with the Missouri Department of Mental Health.

The Missouri Institute of Mental Health and Missouri Department of Mental Health have received a $1.44 million federal grant for youth suicide prevention programs. MIMH is a research, mental health and social services unit of the University of Missouri–St. Louis.

The federal grant, from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, is the third youth suicide prevention initiative awarded to the state for the Missouri Youth Suicide Prevention Project since 2005. Since that time, more than 50,000 youth and adults have received suicide prevention programming in Missouri. The existing program continues with an additional $480,000 award per year.

The new grant will allow suicide prevention efforts to continue by promoting and providing evidence-based suicide prevention programs while helping to connect at-risk youth to much needed mental health services.

“With this grant we will address not just prevention but early intervention,” said Elizabeth Sale, the lead evaluator of the project and a research associate professor at MIMH. “We will focus on training teachers in the schools to become suicide prevention program facilitators so that more school staff and youth learn to detect warning signs of suicide. Missouri will also establish five self-sustaining centers around the state to coordinate counseling services for low-income youth.” Scott Perkins will serve as project director for the grant.

MIMH provides research, evaluation, policy and training expertise to the Missouri Department of Mental Health, other state agencies, service provider agencies, school districts, and other organizations and individuals seeking information related to mental health and other related policy areas. Located in St. Louis, MIMH consists of 100 researchers and staff generating $7.5 million in research grants.

UMSL is a public metropolitan research university located in Missouri’s most populous and economically important region. UMSL provides exceptional learning experiences and leadership opportunities to a diverse student body through the university’s outstanding faculty, ranked programs, innovative research and community partnerships. The university includes over 16,500 students served by 2,500 faculty and staff.

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