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SAMHSA awards $61.1 million in suicide prevention funding

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The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) today announced it has awarded up to $61.1 million in grants to be disbursed over several years for suicide prevention programs.

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, during which the mental health community across the nation raises awareness and resources for suicide prevention. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) is a nationwide network of crisis centers that provides immediate help to people in crisis. SAMHSA awards grants to support the Lifeline and many other suicide prevention activities.

SAMHSA has long served a leading role in efforts to reduce suicide among people of all age groups, providing a range of services in a variety of settings. “Suicide is an urgent public health issue, and we are directing resources to help people when they need it most,” said Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use Elinore F. McCance-Katz, MD, PhD.

The grant programs included in this effort are:

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and Disaster Distress Helpline

The Helpline is funded at $6.1 million annually through a grant to the Mental Health Association of New York City. The 2018 grant award continues funding for three years, totaling more than $18 million.

The Garrett Lee Smith Campus Suicide Prevention Grant

This grant is designed to:

  • develop approaches to improve mental health services for college students,
  • reduce the impact of mental and substance use disorders in young American adults,
  • encourage students to seek help when needed, and
  • identify and treat those who may need help for mental or substance use disorders.

Up to 20 institutions of higher education will receive Garrett Lee Smith grants for as much as $102,000 per year for three years, for a total of $5.8 million.

List of grantees

Zero Suicide

The Zero Suicide grant program helps to implement suicide prevention and intervention programs within health systems for adults age 25 or older. Up to 14 grantees will receive as much as $700,000 per year for five years, for a total of $37 million.

List of grantees

The actual award amounts may vary, depending on the availability of funds. Information on SAMHSA grants is available at:

For questions or further information about these grant programs, please contact SAMHSA’s Division of Grants Management at 240-276-1400.

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The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA’s mission is to lead public health and service delivery efforts that promote mental health, prevent substance misuse, and provide treatments and supports to foster recovery while ensuring equitable access and better outcomes.

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