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Nebraska’s Garrett Lee Smith Grant Page
The Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act was enacted by the United States Congress in 2004 to provide funding specifically for youth suicide prevention. The legislation is named in memory of the son of U.S. Senator Gordon Smith, J.D. (D-OR). Learn more about Garrett Lee Smith.
Nebraska received a grant under this act in October 2009. The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services Division of Behavioral Health, the University of Nebraska Public Policy Center, Interchurch Ministries of Nebraska and the Nebraska State Suicide Prevention Coalition are partnering to carry out activities for this grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a branch of the federal Department of Health and Human Services.
Updates and News
- Seed Grant Awardees: Fall 2011
Last fall the Nebraska Youth Suicide Prevention Project awarded another round of seed grants to some deserving recipients. These local grants were an opportunity for community-based groups in Nebraska to receive funds of $1,000-$5,000 to implement practices to prevent suicide among youth up to age 24. Of particular interest were community projects focusing on youth at high risk for suicide. In this project high risk youth was defined as youth involved in multiple systems, minority youth and youth in transition to adulthood, including young returning veterans.
- The awardees of the Fall 2011 round of local grants represent diverse organizations and representation throughout the state. The grantees have worked with the Nebraska Youth Suicide Prevention Project to implement their suicide prevention practices and reported data they have collected to help create a clearer picture of how suicide prevention efforts are working in the state. One way many of the seed grantees have used their funds was to hold QPR ("Question, Persuade, Refer") training sessions, which teach people to be able to identify someone at risk for suicide and how to best help them.
- Some projects have also focused on developing local LOSS Teams, which are trained survivor and mental health professionals acting as volunteers to bring immediate support to survivors of suicide. LOSS Teams are activated by first response officials when a suicide occurs to provide resources, support, and hope to suicide survivors.
- The project team congratulates the grantees on their suicide prevention efforts and on their dedication to this important cause!
- Congratulations to the Fall 2011 Seed Grantees:
- Seward County Bridges
- Gage County MAPS
- AFSP Kearney
- Congratulations to the Summer 2011 Seed Grantees:
- Boy's Town
- Norfolk Area Ministerial Association
- Norfolk Community Health Care Clinic
- Grand Island Diocese
- South Heartland Public Health Department
- Elkhorn Logan Valley Public Health District
- University of Nebraska~Lincoln, Student Services
- Lincoln YMCA
- Lutheran Family Services, At Ease Program
- Hall County Suicide Prevention Coalition
- Panhandle Suicide Prevention
- Northeast Nebraska Youth Suicide Prevention
- Lincoln Indian Center
- South Central Suicide Prevention Coalition
- Grantee Spotlight: Panhandle Suicide Prevention
- In the Panhandle of Nebraska, a grassroots coalition has taken hold and grown to include many communities in Western Nebraska. The coalition chose to follow the evidence-based strategic prevention framework, beginning with an assessment and strategic planning resulting in a coordinated prevention effort. Funds from several sources contribute to the assessment, coordination of the coalition and regional prevention activities such as the recent "Out of the Darkness Walk" that drew more than 150 participants on a cold, rainy day in September and a moderated luncheon in November to commemorate National Survivor's Day.
The Panhandle Coalition used funding from the Nebraska Youth Suicide Prevention Project to complete an assessment that led to a discovery that suicide rates (attempts and completions) are higher than the state average in several Panhandle counties. The Coalition's work resulted in system change in at least one county, where the coroner now tracks suicides as a separate category of death for juveniles and adults.
The Panhandle Coalition partners have also worked to increase awareness of suicide prevention by including data related to suicide in agency reports and publicizing information about risk and protective factors in area newspapers and direct mailings. The coalition produces regional updates for behavioral health professionals and crisis response teams that include facts about suicide and personal stories from Survivors of suicide. Other awareness activities have included implementation of the SOS (Signs of Suicide) Program in Alliance Public Schools; training school counselors on-line as a "School Specialist in Suicide"; and hosting gatekeeper training using the Question, Persuade and Refer(c) program.
- In the News
Evaluation Activities and Reports
A key component of all projects funded by Garrett Lee Smith Act Grants is evaluation of their impact. Nebraska is participating in a cross-site evaluation and is tracking the impact of all local activities funded by the grant.