Community Health Network Foundation says it will use a $3.6 million grant to help prevent teen suicides. The grant is from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. October 2, 2014

News Release

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Community Health Network Foundation has received a $3,679,744 grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to prevent suicide attempts and deaths among Indiana’s youth ages 10 to 24. The federal funding allows Community Health Network to accelerate its Zero Suicides for Indiana Youth initiative, a comprehensive early intervention and suicide prevention program that will train healthcare and youth-serving organizations to identify and refer at-risk youth.

Over the next five years, the SAMHSA grant will bring crisis, telepsychiatry and intensive care coordination services to more than 600 primary care physicians, 11 emergency departments and 13 hospitals located throughout the state. These locations are a mix of Community facilities and other healthcare providers where Community provides Behavioral Health services. They will annually reach more than 5,000 at-risk Indiana children and young adults who will receive evidence-based assessments and treatments.

In addition, the SAMHSA grant allows Community Health Network’s Behavioral Health physicians and leaders to build a statewide crisis network that will include Indiana’s schools, foster care system, juvenile justice program, primary and specialty healthcare providers, policy makers and suicide survivors. These partners will be trained to identify youth at risk of attempting suicide, provide timely intervention and quickly connect them with Community’s crisis providers, all connected with 24-hour access to Community’s Behavioral Health Crisis Center and Hospital, Indiana’s largest and most robust acute hospital exclusively providing inpatient behavioral health services. Indiana’s state government will be a key partner in building the statewide crisis network.

Community Health Network is Indiana’s most comprehensive provider of youth services, and earlier this year announced its commitment to becoming the first health care system in the United States to fully implement the Zero Suicides model, developed by the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention and other partners. At the same time, the Indiana Division of Mental Health and Addiction designated Community Health Network as the lead entity to spearhead the state’s movement to save young lives.

Suzanne Clifford, executive vice president of behavioral health at Community, said that suicide is a leading cause of death for Indiana’s children and young adults, and that a survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2011 revealed that the percentage of Indiana students attempting suicide was the second highest among 43 states surveyed.

“These statistics are alarming and they continue to climb,” Clifford said. “Now is the time to provide the training and resources needed to save the lives of our state’s children. Zero suicides is a bold goal, but when it comes to our youth, no other goal is acceptable. With this funding, we will be able to radically expand our ability to provide early intervention, prevention and treatment that will save thousands of lives.”

Joyce Irwin, Community Health Network Foundation’s president and CEO, said the SAMHSA grant also allows Community Health Network to expand its outreach to engage at-risk youth who are homeless, in foster care, in the juvenile justice system, in an ethnic minority or LGBTQ.

“This grant is a multi-million dollar investment that will help all of our state’s at-risk youth, regardless of where they live or what circumstances they endure,” Irwin said. “We are grateful for this funding, which will address a critical Indiana healthcare issue and revolutionize our approach to helping children and young adults contemplating suicide.”

If you are concerned someone you know is contemplating suicide, Clifford encourages you to call Community Health Network’s crisis hotline at 800-662-3445.

Source: Community Health Network Foundation

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