Statistics from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention show suicide is the second leading cause of death among Ohio teens and young adults. With the help of grants from Mental Health Recovery Services of Warren & Clinton Counties (MHRS), the local board of mental health and addiction services, nine schools are aiming to prevent suicide among that group.
MHRS recently awarded nearly $20,000 in grants to the schools through funds from a federal Engage 2.0 grant. The school projects range from conducting new trainings in the suicide prevention training Question-Persuade-Refer (QPR) to implementing school-based peer support groups called Hope Squads, to learning new prevention techniques through attending conferences.
The schools receiving grants include: Mason City Schools, Kings Local Schools, East Clinton Middle School, Warren County Career Center, St. Margaret of York, Lebanon City Schools, Wilmington College, Sinclair College-Courseview Campus, and the Warren County Educational Service Center.
“We are so excited and thankful to partner with these schools and colleges to expand our suicide prevention efforts,” says Patti Ahting, MHRS Associate Director. “We know that it truly takes an entire community, working collectively, to make a difference in reducing youth suicide. The grants have enabled these educational institutions to expand their knowledge and capability in identifying and assisting youth who are struggling. This is an essential component of an effective system of care.”
The Engage 2.0 grant, awarded to the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), just completed its first of four years of funding. The grant is aimed at expanding the system of care across Ohio for youth and young adults.
In addition to providing for grants to schools, the Engage 2.0 funding also helped the Suicide Prevention Coalition of Warren County develop a Teen Suicide Prevention Toolkit for schools. Nearly 45 kits were provided to area schools and other groups that work with teens.
For more information about MHRS, visit mhrsonline.org.