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Iowa to Receive Grant Funding for Youth Suicide Prevention, Early Intervention

ROCKVILLE, Md., The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) today announced that it anticipates making awards totaling $1.2 million over three years to the state of Iowa to implement the Youth Suicide Prevention/Early Intervention Project. The first year award is $400,000. This grant will provide screening, assessment and referral to early intervention and treatment services for youth suicide prevention within educational settings.

Nationwide, someone dies by suicide every 17 minutes. "Suicide is a preventable tragedy for individuals, for families and for communities," said SAMHSA's Administrator Terry Cline, Ph.D. "This grant is an important part of the solution to preventing suicide in the state of Iowa. Education about suicide risk factors, such as depression and drug abuse, is another part of the solution. So is early intervention, such as our national suicide prevention lifeline, 1-800-273-TALK. By working with suicide prevention in schools and on athletic fields, in workplaces and places of worship, and at home, we can save thousands of lives."

Iowa's youth have a higher risk for suicide than the national average. For the years 2000-2003, suicide was the second leading cause of death for Iowa youth 10-24 years of age. The 2002 Iowa Youth Survey identified 10,560 students who admitted to one or more suicide attempts and 9,531 who admitted to having a plan. Iowa data demonstrates the need for early identification of youth at risk for suicide in Iowa's educational settings.

This project incorporates parts of the Iowa Plan for Suicide Prevention: 2005-2009, which was based on the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. The Iowa Department of Public Health will fund grants to local high schools or educational regions. Schools and their community partners will provide early identification programs to high school youth and make appropriate referrals for services. The project also includes a publi c awareness campaign to promote project participation.

SAMHSA is a public agency within the Department of Health and Human Services. The agency is responsible for improving the accountability, capacity and effectiveness of the nation's substance abuse prevention, addictions treatment and mental health services delivery systems.


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