PSU Joins in National Suicide Prevention Effort

October 22nd, 2012 by blyndes

Plymouth, N.H. –Which public health threat causes the most deaths in young people every year? It’s not cancer, heart disease, AIDS or birth defects; suicide among people under the age of 25 claims more lives than all of those diseases, combined.  The epidemic of young people taking their own lives is a crisis, and Plymouth State University is joining forces with federal and state agencies to prevent any more suicide tragedies.

Plymouth State University has been awarded a three-year Garrett Lee Smith Campus Suicide Prevention Grant of $278,00 by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Plymouth State University has been awarded a three-year Garrett Lee Smith Campus Suicide Prevention Grant of $278,000 by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Delilah Smith, director of PSU’s Sexuality, Anti-Violence Gender and Equality (S.A.G.E.) center announced today.

Funding provided by the grant will provide resources for Plymouth State University to assemble a Suicide Prevention Advisory Board comprised of campus and community partners to increase mental health awareness, implement evidence-based trainings for faculty, staff, students while educating the campus community on how to help someone in need of support and where to send them when they need help.

“Suicide is the second leading cause of death for college students,” Smith said. With this grant, we hope to utilize national, state and local resources to enhance infrastructure, strengthen a climate of help-seeking, reduced stigma and increase the skills and capacity for responding to students at risk for suicide.”

The prevention activities will also have a special focus on those student groups who have been shown to be at increased risk of suicide, including gay, lesbian, bisexuals, and transgender students; veterans and military members; and students from rural backgrounds. Integrating the resources from the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) NH’s Connect Project; PSU’s TIGER (Theatre Integrating Guidance Education and Responsibility) program; and on and off-campus providers into a comprehensive approach that actively encourages stigma reduction and help seeking behaviors, reinforced by consistent, sustained best practices for suicide prevention and postvention to support all students.

“I want thank each of the partners that provided support and assistance with our application,” said Smith. “We look forward to collaborating with our many campus and community organizations as we begin planning and implementing our comprehensive suicide prevention efforts.”

For more information about this release, contact Bruce Lyndes, PSU Media Relations Mgr., (603) 535-2775 or blyndes@plymouth.edu

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