The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has released 26 grant awards totaling $17.8 million to help communities prevent suicide during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Emergency Response for Suicide Prevention Grants program helps states, tribes and communities advance efforts to prevent suicide and suicide attempts among adults 25 and older in order to reduce the overall suicide rate and the number of suicides in the United States.
“Americans throughout our nation continue to struggle with COVID-related increases in depression, anxiety, trauma, grief, isolation, job and home loss, and other stressors,” said Miriam E. Delphin-Rittmon, Ph.D., the U.S. Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use and the leader of SAMHSA. “These grants support outreach to people at risk of suicide and victims of domestic violence.”
Recipients of the funding will assist at-risk people by providing services that include:
- rapid follow-up of adults who have attempted suicide or experienced a suicidal crisis after discharge from emergency departments and inpatient psychiatric facilities;
- providing training for community and clinical service providers and systems serving adults at risk;
- working across state and community departments and systems to implement comprehensive suicide prevention;
- suicide screening and assessment, as well as appropriate clinical treatment services required as a result of the assessment;
- community recovery supports to assist people who have attempted or are at risk for attempting suicide, including supports for impacted household members; and
- enhanced services for victims of domestic violence and their dependents – including a safe place to stay if individuals are unable to remain safely in the home setting.
This funding was provided by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021. The 26 grant recipients are receiving up to $800,000 each.
Anyone at risk of suicide – or loved ones concerned about someone who might be at risk – should contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/.