Centerstone, a not-for profit health system with nationally available mental health and substance use disorder services, has been awarded a Zero Suicide grant award from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The award will provide Centerstone with $400,000 each year for the next five years, a total of $2 million. One of 15 nationally awarded grants, the funds will be utilized by Centerstone to further develop and continue implementation of the Zero Suicide prevention initiative throughout its health system.
Centerstone’s Zero Suicide initiative will enhance and expand suicide prevention and intervention strategies designed to raise awareness of suicide, establish referral processes, and improve care and outcomes for adults age 25 and older in Florida, Indiana, Illinois, and Tennessee, the areas served by Centerstone’s physical footprint. The grant comes at a critical time, as suicide rates have been on the rise nationally among all age groups, especially among adults between the ages of 25 and 44, whose rate of suicide has surpassed that of older adults and far exceeds the national average. In 2018, suicide claimed the lives of more than 48,000 Americans and was the 10th leading cause of death.
“We’re fortunate to have been utilizing the Zero Suicide approach in Tennessee since 2014 and in other Centerstone states over the past few years. This new grant award will allow us to advance the field of suicide prevention and ultimately have a much bigger impact,” says Becky Stoll, vice president of crisis and disaster services and project director for Zero Suicide.
As part of the grant, Centerstone’s clinical staff will screen all individuals receiving care for suicidal thoughts and behaviors, conduct comprehensive risk assessments of individuals identified at risk for suicide, implement effective, evidence-based treatments that specifically treat suicidal ideation and behaviors. Clinical staff will also be trained to provide direct treatment in suicide prevention and evaluate individual outcomes throughout the treatment process.
Centerstone will also work with Veterans Health Administration (VHA) community-based outpatient clinics, state department of Veterans affairs, and national SAMHSA and Veterans Administration (VA) suicide prevention resources to engage and intervene with Veterans at risk for suicide but not currently receiving VA services.
Work to implement the grant is scheduled to begin by August 31, 2020 — just in time for National Suicide Prevention Month which is observed annually in September.