Minnesota - Carlton County Public Health and Human Services

Grant Type:  Garrett Lee Smith State
Grant Status:  Alumni
Year Awarded:  2011
State:  Minnesota

NEXT TXT 4 LIFE builds on existing multi-agency collaborations to strengthen suicide prevention efforts which serve 22,000 school-aged youth who live in rural and reservation areas of Northeastern Minnesota. Northeastern Minnesota cover 24% of the State of Minnesota and has 6% of the population. The suicide rate for youth and adults in this area is among the highest in the state, and historically exceeds the state average. American Indian and female youth are particularly at risk. It is estimated that 1400 individual advocates and service providers who deal with youth in crises will benefit from the training and collaboration made possible through this proposal. An estimated 1500 youth will benefit from involvement in at least one level of our suicide prevention response system. Our primary mission is to reduce the incidence of suicidal ideation and suicide attempts for NE MN youth by a minimum of 20 percent by 1) Increasing access and utilization among youth of the Minnesota suicide prevention crisis response system by updating infrastructure to include text-messaging to encourage help-seeking behavior, 2) Improving local suicide prevention planning/services and increase protective factors and reduce risk factors among youth though implementation of culturally appropriate, evidence based youth suicide prevention and early intervention strategies, 3) Increasing gatekeeper awareness and understanding of youth suicide, willingness to intervene, and skills for appropriate intervention and referral. Implementation of the proposed suicide prevention strategies will begin in NE Minnesota, including Carlton, Cook, Lake, St. Louis, Aitkin, Itasca, Koochiching Counties and Fond du Lac, Grand Portage, Red Lake, and Bois Forte/Nett Lake tribal reservations, and then continue across Minnesota. Proposed strategies include:

  • Expansion of local public awareness efforts utilizing social media marketing (i.e. texting)
  • Strengthen collaborative infrastructure within the NE Minnesota region
  • Development of partnerships in NE Minnesota to expand suicide prevention efforts
  • Combine efforts of the student originated “Life is for Everyone" (LIFE), Department of Public Health, the Minnesota Department of Human Services, and Suicide Awareness Voice of Education (SAVE), and Carlton County Suicide Prevention Task force
  • Ensure sustainability of youth suicide prevention programs
  • Provide leadership and informational training for consumer and community stakeholders
  • Continue to provide training for key gatekeepers in recognizing and responding to suicide risk

The Carlton County Public Health, Humans Services Inc./Crisis Connection and Carlton County Children and Family Services Collaborative will take the lead in this initiative. All partners have experience with state and federal grants that have expanded to a regional or statewide area. This suicide prevention proposal builds on the success of a prior initiative funded by the MDH, which first introduced the Question, Persuade, Respond model of suicide prevention in 2009.