New Hampshire’s Suicide Prevention Grant
In The Catcher and the Rye, Holden Caulfield imagines a group of children playing in a field of rye near a cliff, and his role is to catch any child who gets too close to the edge. The Garrett Lee Smith grant performs a similar function for at-risk youth in New Hampshire.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death for New Hampshire citizens between ages 10 and 24.
In October of 2013, the state of New Hampshire was awarded a three-year suicide prevention grant, through the federal agency SAMHSA, to focus on these youth. NAMI NH is the organization coordinating and implementing the state grant.
It may be helping someone you know…
Groups of returning military; youth who are gay, lesbian, transgender, or questioning their sexual or gender identity; refugees; youth with mental illness or substance issues; those with legal involvement; and unemployed young adults are all at higher risk for suicide attempts.
The Garrett Lee Smith grant works to strengthen services and supports for youth and young adults with behavioral health challenges. The grant will also strengthen post intervention work to assist communities, schools, organizations, and families to heal after a suicide (and reduce the risk of further suicides).
This grant may have already saved a life…
In the first few months of the grant project, a regional public health network held a suicide prevention workshop for its members. A teacher at the training learned that a student she had been worried about was exhibiting warning signs for suicide.
“She was a good student who was suddenly declining in her school work and attendance. Prompted by the training, we talked with her and learned that she was in fact suicidal,” the teacher said. “We mobilized supports and counseling for this student. Prior to the suicide prevention training, we never would have explored this or generated the kind of resources needed. Without this response, she might have dropped out of school and might have attempted suicide. She is getting help now, using the supports and treatment, and is back on track academically and doing much better.”
Weaving a network of prevention…
NAMI New Hampshire is partnering with statewide entities and organizations such as the NH Suicide Prevention Council, the Youth Suicide Prevention Assembly, the statewide Survivor of Suicide Loss Network, peer and family support networks, HeadRest, NH Hospital, and regional public health networks.
They will also collaborate with other projects—such as Plymouth State University’s campus suicide prevention grant and the Systems of Care FAST FORWARD initiative.
Youth suicide must be prevented in New Hampshire. Through the collective effort led by NAMI New Hampshire, we can continue building knowledge, resources, and infrastructure.
For more information about the Garrett Lee Smith grant and/or NAMI NH’s role in suicide prevention, please contact Elaine de Mello.
Annual reports and information on state suicide prevention efforts can be found at our website.