Massachusetts Department of Mental Health

Program Name:  Massachusetts Adult Suicide Prevention Program (MASSP)
Grant Type:  National Strategy for Suicide Prevention
Grant Status:  Active
Year Awarded:  2017
State:  Massachusetts

The goals of the Massachusetts Adult Suicide Prevention Program (MASSP) are to:

1) create two Community Systems of Care (CSOC) integrating health, behavioral health, and suicide crisis services for the goal of Zero Suicide,
2) pilot an Engagement and Follow-up (E&F) intervention for adults transitioning after a suicide attempt,
3) promote statewide access to resources and treatment for high risk groups, and
4) institute an Adult Suicide Fatality Review Team process.

The purpose of the MASPP is to reduce the rate of suicide attempts and completions among adults. Two communities will form CSOCs, led by a Zero Suicide Learning Collaborative. The first CSOC will serve adults at high risk of suicide on Cape Cod and the Islands, a region with the state’s highest rate of suicide, largest veteran population, and a significant elderly population. A second CSOC will be created in another community with high risk groups. In addition to fostering Zero Suicide standards of organizational and clinical practice within healthcare organizations, the CSOCs will link medical, behavioral health, suicide crisis, and community organizations to integrate care and coordinate transitions for at risk adults. Improved linkages should guide patients to the most appropriate services, better coordinate care, and support at risk adults during transitions, particularly those following discharge after a suicide attempt. A comprehensive training program targeted to the suicide prevention roles staff play in different CSOC organizations will enhance their skills and confidence, improving the quality of care they provide, and resulting in more effective prevention, early intervention, and follow-up care. CSOCs will each pilot an Adult Suicide Fatality Review Team, which will identify factors contributing to suicide deaths to inform system improvement. In future years, these models will be implemented statewide, community by community. Statewide activities focus on improving identification of suicide risk among high risk groups by promoting awareness of the innovative MassMen website tailored to working age men, training gatekeepers working with unemployed adults, and increasing screening and referral by perinatal care providers serving new mothers.

Measurable impacts include:

• Increase in identification, referral, and treatment of at-risk adults
• Reduced rates of suicide deaths
• Reduced rates of suicide attempts
• Greater voice for adults with lived experience in strategic planning

The number of people served over this three year grant is projected to be 320,874, or an annual average of 106,958.