The State of Kansas, through its agent, Headquarters, Inc., commonly known as Headquarters Counseling Center, proposes this initiative to increase and strengthen youth suicide prevention activities statewide, resulting in stronger linkages between youth settings and quality mental health care for suicidal youth between the ages of 10 and 24. The initiative promotes suicide prevention and intervention that enhances local and statewide identification and linkage that will highlight: 1) identifying at-risk youth and assessing access barriers within youth settings; 2) conducting evidence-based prevention interventions within each youth setting to enhance surveillance, linkage and self-referral; 3) promoting the viable connection of the young person to crisis line support and psychiatric care; 4) increasing the availability of mental health professionals trained in reducing suicide risk through evidence-based interventions; and 5) successfully retaining the identified young person in mental health treatment, to the point that meaningful suicide risk reduction has occurred.
A state coordinating and resource center and website for youth suicide prevention will be developed. Capacity will be added to the Lifeline service in Kansas. The existing state suicide prevention committee will be expanded in representation and scope, and regional suicide prevention coalitions will be formed, to enhance youth suicide prevention. Consumers, including youth 10-24, families, mental health advocates, and survivors of suicide loss will be included in planning, information enhancement, and reducing barriers to obtaining help. Information exchange will be facilitated by the website and regional meetings. Locations for youth site – mental health provider partnerships will reflect the geographic and cultural diversity of Kansas. During the first four months of the grant, an ASIST Training for Trainers course will be offered to at least two representatives of each of the six mental health regions of the State.
This project will also promote a data-driven evaluation, strategies for expanding suicide prevention over time, and dissemination of project findings. Measurable objectives include indices of participation (youth trained, youth served, website hits, coalition attendance, diversity representation), changes post-training in willingness to seek help from an adult during a suicidal crisis, reduction of barriers, youth connecting with treatment, youth retained in treatment, reduction of actual suicide cognitions, and improved perceptions of the mental health experience by youth, families, and youth settings.