MA Community Health Grants

GRANT FOCUS: Health, Community, Equity, Child/Youth Health, Child/Youth Welfare, Environment
Amount: Up to $30,000
Deadline:
Oct. 18, 2019 (Concept papers due Oct. 4)

“The foundation’s mission is to improve the health status of the community, its individuals and families through informed and innovative leadership.

Community Health Innovation Grants: The foundation’s Community Health Innovation Grants are designed to identify and invest in the planning and development of solutions that can address some of the health challenges facing our region. These can be new ideas or a transformation of existing practices. This grant program is an opportunity for area organizations and those most affected by a health issue, to collectively engage in a problem-solving process that will lead to more effective, equitable and sustainable solutions… The intent of these grants is to support an authentic and inclusive process leading to innovative ideas and strategies. Collaboratives must include those who are directly affected by the health issue to be addressed.

Health Equity Grants: The foundation is committed to putting health equity at the core of our efforts to improve health in the region. Grant funding focused on organizational development is one strategy we employ to promote equity. We believe that if those providing services are committed to equity in staff and board recruitment and retention, as well as to including those most affected by an issue in decision-making processes, then we can begin to move towards greater health equity in the region. Grants in this category are designed to help agencies further build the capacity needed to systematically address health inequities in MetroWest.

Responsive Grants: The foundation will fund limited responsive grants, defined as health projects that fall outside of the foundation’s defined initiatives. These grants will focus on providing limited and shortterm funding for approaches to address unmet health needs in communities served by the foundation.”

Funder: Metrowest Health Foundation
Eligibility: “The foundation supports programs that directly benefit the health of those who live and work in one of the 25 communities served by the foundation. Such support is limited to organizations that qualify as tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS Code, or organizations that are recognized as instrumentalities of state or local government.”
Contact: Link. 


>>> CLICK HERE to see all of Youth Today’s GRANT LISTINGS

The post MA Community Health Grants appeared first on Youth Today.


MA Community Health Grants

GRANT FOCUS: Health, Community, Equity, Child/Youth Health, Child/Youth Welfare, Environment
Amount: Up to $30,000
Deadline:
Oct. 18, 2019 (Concept papers due Oct. 4)

“The foundation’s mission is to improve the health status of the community, its individuals and families through informed and innovative leadership.

Community Health Innovation Grants: The foundation’s Community Health Innovation Grants are designed to identify and invest in the planning and development of solutions that can address some of the health challenges facing our region. These can be new ideas or a transformation of existing practices. This grant program is an opportunity for area organizations and those most affected by a health issue, to collectively engage in a problem-solving process that will lead to more effective, equitable and sustainable solutions… The intent of these grants is to support an authentic and inclusive process leading to innovative ideas and strategies. Collaboratives must include those who are directly affected by the health issue to be addressed.

Health Equity Grants: The foundation is committed to putting health equity at the core of our efforts to improve health in the region. Grant funding focused on organizational development is one strategy we employ to promote equity. We believe that if those providing services are committed to equity in staff and board recruitment and retention, as well as to including those most affected by an issue in decision-making processes, then we can begin to move towards greater health equity in the region. Grants in this category are designed to help agencies further build the capacity needed to systematically address health inequities in MetroWest.

Responsive Grants: The foundation will fund limited responsive grants, defined as health projects that fall outside of the foundation’s defined initiatives. These grants will focus on providing limited and shortterm funding for approaches to address unmet health needs in communities served by the foundation.”

Funder: Metrowest Health Foundation
Eligibility: “The foundation supports programs that directly benefit the health of those who live and work in one of the 25 communities served by the foundation. Such support is limited to organizations that qualify as tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS Code, or organizations that are recognized as instrumentalities of state or local government.”
Contact: Link. 


>>> CLICK HERE to see all of Youth Today’s GRANT LISTINGS

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The Opportunity Agenda Appoints New President, Ellen Buchman

A “social justice visionary” who says she has the fight for equality coursing through her veins is the new president of The Opportunity Agenda. Ellen Buchman now sits at the helm of the Washington, D.C.-based civic engagement communication lab. 

“I can’t think of another moment, at least in my lifetime, that it’s so clear what’s at stake if we don’t dig deep and ensure that we’re doing all we can to push for equal opportunity and equity for people,” Buchman said. “Forging partnerships for social justice is in my DNA, and this is a seminal moment for social justice, for The Opportunity Agenda, and for our country,” she said separately in the official announcement.

The Opportunity Agenda

Ellen Buchman

Buchman joined The Opportunity Agenda as its first vice president for strategy and program impact in March 2018. Before that she worked with the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights for 15 years, most recently as executive vice president. 

The chair of the committee who appointed Buchman, Madifing Kaba, said in the announcement, “As we navigate one of the most divisive political climates in modern history, the issues related to equal dignity, human rights, opportunity for all and social justice in general are even more important today than ever. I believe that Ellen has the vision, the experience and the courage required to lead The Opportunity Agenda into the next phase of its work and history.” 

“What I have been fortunate and privileged to be able to do in my career is build opportunities to forge collaborative work,” Buchman said. “People who are striving to advance different areas of equality are best served if they form strategic partnerships with one another.” 

She will lead The Opportunity Agenda’s existing initiatives in criminal justice reform, immigrant rights and expanding economic opportunity. 

Buchman said she wants to be a voice for those who can’t fight for themselves or are too young to do so. She wants to ensure that “kids are given a true path to prosperity and not a pipeline to prison. And make sure that young people of all backgrounds are given a chance to have dignity in life and given opportunities to advance to their full potential.” 

Buchman’s appointment follows the recent departure of The Opportunity Agenda’s co-founder and long-time president Alan Jenkins, who said he is “elated” that she will now be leading the organization. 

“Ellen’s social justice vision, her commitment to equity and inclusion, and the trust that she enjoys across diverse movements and sectors, are precisely the qualities that our organization needs at this critical moment in time. Under Ellen’s leadership, The Opportunity Agenda will see even greater success,” Jenkins said in the announcement.

The United States has historically been known to sustain the ideals of prosperity and security only for certain people, Buchman said. Intent on changing that, she wants to ensure that marginalized communities are treated fairly. 

“It’s incredibly clear that we must do all that we can do … to make certain that we cannot and should not run the risk of leaving individuals behind, whether we’re talking about young people or we’re talking about others. Everyone has a stake in this and we’ve got to stick together,” she said.

The post The Opportunity Agenda Appoints New President, Ellen Buchman appeared first on Youth Today.


The Opportunity Agenda Appoints New President, Ellen Buchman

A “social justice visionary” who says she has the fight for equality coursing through her veins is the new president of The Opportunity Agenda. Ellen Buchman now sits at the helm of the Washington, D.C.-based civic engagement communication lab. 

“I can’t think of another moment, at least in my lifetime, that it’s so clear what’s at stake if we don’t dig deep and ensure that we’re doing all we can to push for equal opportunity and equity for people,” Buchman said. “Forging partnerships for social justice is in my DNA, and this is a seminal moment for social justice, for The Opportunity Agenda, and for our country,” she said separately in the official announcement.

The Opportunity Agenda

Ellen Buchman

Buchman joined The Opportunity Agenda as its first vice president for strategy and program impact in March 2018. Before that she worked with the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights for 15 years, most recently as executive vice president. 

The chair of the committee who appointed Buchman, Madifing Kaba, said in the announcement, “As we navigate one of the most divisive political climates in modern history, the issues related to equal dignity, human rights, opportunity for all and social justice in general are even more important today than ever. I believe that Ellen has the vision, the experience and the courage required to lead The Opportunity Agenda into the next phase of its work and history.” 

“What I have been fortunate and privileged to be able to do in my career is build opportunities to forge collaborative work,” Buchman said. “People who are striving to advance different areas of equality are best served if they form strategic partnerships with one another.” 

She will lead The Opportunity Agenda’s existing initiatives in criminal justice reform, immigrant rights and expanding economic opportunity. 

Buchman said she wants to be a voice for those who can’t fight for themselves or are too young to do so. She wants to ensure that “kids are given a true path to prosperity and not a pipeline to prison. And make sure that young people of all backgrounds are given a chance to have dignity in life and given opportunities to advance to their full potential.” 

Buchman’s appointment follows the recent departure of The Opportunity Agenda’s co-founder and long-time president Alan Jenkins, who said he is “elated” that she will now be leading the organization. 

“Ellen’s social justice vision, her commitment to equity and inclusion, and the trust that she enjoys across diverse movements and sectors, are precisely the qualities that our organization needs at this critical moment in time. Under Ellen’s leadership, The Opportunity Agenda will see even greater success,” Jenkins said in the announcement.

The United States has historically been known to sustain the ideals of prosperity and security only for certain people, Buchman said. Intent on changing that, she wants to ensure that marginalized communities are treated fairly. 

“It’s incredibly clear that we must do all that we can do … to make certain that we cannot and should not run the risk of leaving individuals behind, whether we’re talking about young people or we’re talking about others. Everyone has a stake in this and we’ve got to stick together,” she said.

The post The Opportunity Agenda Appoints New President, Ellen Buchman appeared first on Youth Today.


Violence Against Homeless Youth Is Encouraged By Our System

By PICTOR PICTURE COMPANY/Shutterstock

Downtown Tempe, Ariz.

It is an arid, 100-degree August night in Tempe, Ariz. Five of us are volunteering on outreach in the downtown area tonight on behalf of a nonprofit that serves homeless youth and young adults. We gather in a parking lot near the main strip and pack backpacks heavy with water bottles, food and hygiene supplies and then walk the main avenue to find youth who might need help. When we meet them, we make what service referrals we can based on our knowledge of the human service system, but mostly we try to treat the youth with dignity — and learn and share and grow with them — despite their housing status.

We’ve been chatting with a dozen homeless youth and young adults in an unused walkway connecting two parts of the downtown area. Two of us listen to a young woman who recounts her medical challenges of being pregnant living on the street, and the rest sit on the concrete, still warm from the day, while chatting with a group of young men. One of them is pouring his recently acquired water into a cup so his dog can drink. The pit bull mix lies stretched out, long and lanky, near two more people — one sitting on a duffle and the other reclined on the concrete with his head propped on his backpack. 

As we talk, listen and laugh, I see two black-uniformed men on black bikes riding slowly past, 50 or so meters (one-third of a mile) away. They circle us. They seem to me like circling coyotes.

The police officers on bike patrol ride over. Without dismounting, one of them addresses the group.

“You gotta leave. Pick up your damn trash and get out of here.”

One of the youth says something in reply; I can’t make it out.

“You’ve got trash everywhere, people have got their shoes off, stuff is everywhere …” The group begins to pack their things. We stick around and help grab some of the trash. The youth put on their shoes, shoulder their bags and move.

Displacement

But it’s almost humorous what counts as “getting out of here.” The center of the group moves 30 feet west, but with their sprawl, the eastmost person of the group is only two steps west of the westmost person in the old spot. An amoebic migration at best. When the last person has cleared the invisible western line of the old sprawl, the officers cycle into the night without a word.

The group of young people has been “moved along,” but they still have nowhere to go.

Laws, and the systems that uphold and enforce them, are designed to promote peace and security in society. Of course, no system, legal or otherwise, equally advantages all people. But in the case of youth who live without homes in the United States, they often find that the system of laws and law enforcement in place can condone, encourage or even commit violence against them.  

Arizona: Tim Huffman (headshot), associate professor of communication studies at Saint Louis University, shaggy, scruffy unsmiling man in blue shirt.

Tim Huffman

The above story isn’t a story about overt victimization. Rather, it is a banal sort of interpersonal and environmental violence. The bland and meaningless reshuffle of the fragile ecosystem does nothing to help anyone. It just drives deeper disconnection. 

Sadly, homeless youth are at risk for violence beyond perpetual displacement. Not only are they more likely to be the victims of crime than youth with fixed and adequate shelter, some find themselves being attacked by law enforcement officers while they sleep at night or have their possessions — including IDs and birth certificates — taken and discarded for seemingly no reason. I knew one young man who would wait until the cover of night to climb buildings and sleep on roofs to avoid violent policing.

The story above, as well as the examples of problems and solutions below, are drawn directly from a 2½-year qualitative research project on youth homelessness in Phoenix. For the last 10 years, I have worked as both a scholar and an activist around issues of homelessness in Los Angeles, Phoenix and St. Louis. During this time, I have both directly witnessed and listened to retellings of violence directed toward homeless youth.

To be clear, not every interaction between youth and the law is violent. I’ve seen compassionate and strategic law enforcement officers work very hard on behalf of people without homes, and cities and citizens work tirelessly to change practices and policies. But when roughly 15% of homeless youth report violence from police officers within the last six months, we must recognize that an entire legal, economic and cultural system creates the conditions that encourage violence. In the spirit of fully understanding the scope of the problem, consider three scenarios.

Scenario 1

A city creates a set of laws about how humans can use the urban center. In practice, these are anti-homeless laws. They effectively make having a body in the city without money illegal, as they punish sitting, sleeping, eating, sheltering, using the bathroom and interacting with passersby. Of course all people do these things, but they are used to control the movements of people without homes. 

Youth, who often appreciate and contribute to the vibrant and artistic energy of downtown areas, are particularly affected by them. These laws and the way they are taken up by so-called hospitality and safety workers push homeless young adults away from the city center, usually into less public spaces. Being in less public places means they are less likely to be considered loitering, but it also means they are more vulnerable to crime as there are fewer witnesses.

Scenario 2

As relationships sour between homeless youth and law enforcement officers, the youth are less likely to seek legal recourse when they have been the target of violence or another crime. This is a composite of a belief that their reports will not be taken seriously and the anxiety that any interaction with law enforcement systems is likely to have consequences. Even if the young person is not currently breaking a trespassing or other anti-homeless law, a history of rude or violent interaction increases the likelihood that law enforcement is a trauma trigger for the youth. As such, crimes against homeless youth are more likely to go unreported and victimization (from theft to sexual violence) is more likely to continue.

Scenario 3

Quite reasonably, shelters and community mental health response systems collaborate with law enforcement officers in the course of their work. Sensible policies, such as sending law enforcement officers to a scene where harm to self or other has been threatened, are a norm. That said, these collaborations can have impacts on youth who try to use the services, particularly as a history of troubled interactions develops. Critical resources can be harder to access if they require the young person to pass through structures of law enforcement to get them. 

Young people who barely manage to call a mental health organization instead of committing suicide might find themselves approached by large blue armed and armored men who are not particularly talented in mental health response and whose bodies bear a symbolic history of violence they do not control. Even when we try to be compassionate, we cannot always overcome the past traumas another person has. 

In short, U.S. systems of law and law enforcement can themselves be agents of violence toward young people who are unhomed.

But all is not lost. There are examples of communities that take seriously the need for the legal system to work for all. This sort of work is challenging and requires significant engagement from various stakeholders. But there are examples of promising practices.

For instance, there are various movements around the United States that have taken up the issues of unjust urban anti-homeless laws and have advocated against them. Various cities have strong homeless bill of rights movements. Relatedly, recent rulings in federal courts have revoked the power to prosecute someone for sleeping outside when there is no adequate shelter available. Further, food distribution has been recognized as an expression of free speech. While there is much more work to do, these activist and judicial examples offer a picture of how legal systems can change.

Further, law enforcement officers can be part of a humane response to issues of poverty. There are examples of community shelters that have created enough trust with their policing community that officers disarm themselves before entering the shelter. This symbolic and material act changes how they encounter and are encountered in these spaces. 

Further, some communities make significant efforts to improve the training and resources that law enforcement officers receive with regard to people experiencing homelessness. By augmenting the communicative and interorganizational tools that officers can deploy, the social and legal possibilities of interaction broadens significantly.

In moving beyond the above examples, I offer a simple thought experiment that various professionals can use to create their own solutions for working in more humane and life-giving ways with homeless youth. It takes the simple form of a question and a follow-up question:

Does this law, policy or practice assume that the person has a home?

If so, what steps could I take or accommodations could be made to avoid the negative outcomes that may come from a standard application of said practice?

In closing, it is valuable to remember that homelessness is often a violent experience in that it is unwanted and painful. It isn’t that the legal structure is uniquely violent. Economic, familial, cultural and elemental realities are also poised to harm. But legal systems, like many of those realities, are real because we made them, and if we make them differently, they can more fully contribute to the creation of a society that is more fair and free. 

Tim Huffman is an associate professor of communication studies at Saint Louis University. His activism and research focuses on homelessness in various contexts, including street outreach, supportive housing, creative program design and regional strategic planning.

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Police Can Help Homeless Youth Instead of Arresting Them

police: A homeless encampment under a freeway.

MattGush/Shutterstock

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Justin (not his real name) was waiting to run into our group of volunteers as we conducted street outreach to youth and young adults who are experiencing homelessness in Atlanta. He hadn’t been seen in a while, and he was ready to tell us why. 

Exasperated, he explained that he had just been released after spending the past month in the county jail. He had appeared in front of the judge for the second time, for the same reason. He had been caught by police for sleeping in a “bando,” a term commonly used for an abandoned building. In a city where the number of people experiencing homelessness far exceed the availability of beds in shelters and housing programs, youth have few options but to take shelter where they can. 

Unfortunately for them, this often involves risking one’s own personal safety, and potentially results in interactions with law enforcement and the criminal justice system.

police: Nicholas Forge (headshot), clinical associate professor at Georgia State University, smiling man with short dark hair, white shirt, polka-dotted tie, dark jacket

Nicholas Forge

Society generally ignores the existence of youth who are homeless, perhaps more so for youth who are of color or identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT). While homeless youth are often identified as an “invisible” population to the general public, their experiences tell us that they are of increased visibility to law enforcement. 

Our experience informs us that youth feel targeted, susceptible to arrest and are untrusting of police officers, which can lead to dire consequences in both the short- and long-term trajectory of their lives. 

Political and financial pressures lead to the increased law enforcement presence in areas where youth frequent. In 2015, as part of a team of researchers, we conducted the Atlanta Youth Count and Needs Assessment, a survey of over 600 homeless and housing-insecure youth in the metro Atlanta area. A quarter of the youth we interviewed had spent the previous night unsheltered; on the street, in a park, under a bridge, in public transit facilities or in encampments. 

Recently, during the Super Bowl in Atlanta, multiple large and known homeless camps were raided and evacuated, as a result of pressure to “clean up” areas of the city. Real estate development and gentrification of areas in Atlanta continues to lead to the arrest and movement of youth from these established encampments. The fear of law enforcement for our youth experiencing homelessness is real. 

Arrests lead to worse problems

While misdemeanor arrest may not be catastrophic for individuals who are securely housed, this is not the case for the overwhelming majority of youth who are homeless. In our study, we found that 59% of youth we interviewed had been stopped by police in the past year, at an average rate of 13 times. These stops by the police resulted in an average arrest rate of 1.8 times and youth spent an average of 31 days in jail. 

police: Ana LaBoy (headshot), research associate at Georgia State University, smiling woman with dark hair, scarf, cardigan

Ana LaBoy

Documentation, including identification, and belongings essential to survival are often confiscated or lost during an arrest. Most providers of housing services require documentation such as state IDs, Social Security cards or birth certificates, the absence of which can prevent or lead to delays in receiving housing solutions. Additionally, when a youth is arrested, they may then have the additional burden of a criminal record, placing a further barrier to permanent housing or employment. Social service providers often lament the difficulty faced when placing clients who have a criminal record in housing or training programs.

Youth experiencing homelessness clearly face complex, multifaceted challenges. These require solutions that involve the cooperation and collaboration of multiple stakeholders, including the criminal justice system. Atlanta has created a team of police liaisons who spend most of their time connecting with the community. 

These officers spend time not only interacting with youth experiencing homelessness, but also develop personal connections and knowledge of various services and providers throughout the city. In this way, they are able to create a bridge between law enforcement and youth themselves. Officers can help find diversion programs and connect them to services, and in some cases, even locate confiscated belongings. 

Around the country, other diversion programs and partnerships have been shown to be successful; instead of arresting youth like Justin, who was only trying to remain safe at night, they foster connections and refer to housing service providers. Imperative to creating these solutions and responses is the voice of youth themselves. They are the experts in their own lives and no community response can be successful without their input. 

What is clear is that the arrest and prosecution of youth for crimes of trespassing, urban camping and loitering fails to solve the problem of youth homelessness, but rather exacerbates the problem. Law enforcement, service providers, community stakeholders must re-evaluate the structure of current systems and programs in place that serve youth and, importantly, must include youth in the conversations that focus on both their current and future wellbeing.

Nicholas Forge has over 10 years of experience in service provision and program development for youth and young adults who are experiencing homelessness in Atlanta and New York City. He is currently clinical associate professor in the School of Social Work at Georgia State University in Atlanta.

Ana LaBoy, MA, is a research associate and was co-director of the Atlanta Youth Count 2018 at Georgia State University. Her research interests include the intersection of homelessness, LGBTQ health disparities and the implications of resilience and future orientation on individuals’ ability to combat housing and health issues.

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Connecting to Opportunity: Lessons on Adapting Interventions for Young People Experiencing Homelessness or Systems Involvement

See Full Report

Author(s): MDRC

  • Louisa Treskon
  • Kyla Wasserman
  • Vicky Ho

Published: September 2019

Report Intro/Brief:
“The Learn and Earn to Achieve Potential (LEAP)TM initiative, a nationwide project of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, aims to improve education and employment outcomes for young people ages 15 to 25 who have been involved in the child welfare and justice systems or who are experiencing homelessness. Young people eligible for LEAP are likely to be disconnected from school and work, and face added challenges that stem directly from their systems involvement or homelessness, including disrupted schooling, housing instability, limited family support, and trauma. LEAP seeks to reduce the inequalities in life chances and outcomes that affect this population, with the goal of helping these young people reach their full potential by connecting them to postsecondary and career pathways.

LEAP operationalizes two education- and employment-focused program models to help young people at different stages along their educational and employment pathways. One program, Jobs for America’s Graduates, or JAG, targets young people who have not completed high school. JAG’s goal is to help these individuals obtain a high school credential and to equip them with the work and life skills they need to land quality jobs or acquire a postsecondary education. The second, JFF’s Back on Track program, aims to help young people transition to postsecondary education and persist through their crucial first year of college or advanced training.

Ten grantees in eight states are implementing LEAP, each in multiple locations. This report presents implementation, outcomes, and cost research findings from MDRC’s evaluation of the grantees’ LEAP programs, which focused on the early years of the initiative.

Key Findings

  • Strategic partnerships with public agencies and other organizations are essential to reaching young people who are eligible for LEAP, aligning resources, and opening access to services.
  • The LEAP population faces a set of systemic and structural barriers that are unique to their involvement in the child welfare and justice systems, which can hinder their progress in programs designed to elevate their educational and economic opportunities. To better serve participants, LEAP programs adapted how they delivered services to mitigate these barriers and make it easier for young people to participate.
  • Back on Track participants had high engagement in the program: Most received a set of services to prepare them for success in postsecondary education or training, 68 percent enrolled in postsecondary education or a job-training program, and 40 percent persisted in school and completed their first year.
  • Most JAG enrollees received the program’s key services, but more than half did not complete the program. Of those who completed the program’s Active Phase, in which the majority of services are delivered, 40 percent earned their high school credential and 76 percent were employed or in school at one point during the first six months of follow-up.
  • The costs of providing LEAP services varied by program structure and local context. Costs per participant, including outreach and follow-up, ranged from $5,300 to $7,300.

LEAP program staff members found early on that they needed to adapt their service delivery plan to keep young people engaged for the full program period. This calls out the need for more research into how programs can sustain the engagement of young people on the long path to attaining a high school credential or postsecondary degree. This report details some of the adaptations that LEAP programs developed to promote engagement, but a longer follow-up period is needed to assess whether these adaptations were successful.”


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Community Strengthening Program Grants

GRANT FOCUS: Community, Education, Health, Job/Career Training
Amount: Unspecified
Deadline:
Jan. 8, 2020

“Grants are awarded to eligible organizations proposing to engage AmeriCorps members in evidence-based or evidence-informed interventions to strengthen communities. In the FY 2020 AmeriCorps competition, CNCS seeks to prioritize the investment of national service resources in:

  • Economic Opportunity – evidence-based interventions on the CNCS Evidence Exchange. In order to qualify for this priority, the applicant must be assessed as having Moderate OR Strong evidence by the reviewers. OR: Increasing economic opportunities for communities by preparing people for the workforce.
  • Education – evidence-based interventions on the CNCS Evidence Exchange. In order to qualify for this priority, the applicant must be assessed as having Moderate or Strong evidence by the reviewers.
  • Healthy Futures – evidence-based interventions on the CNCS Evidence Exchange. In order to qualify for this priority, the applicant must be assessed as having Moderate or Strong evidence by the reviewers. OR: Reducing and/or preventing prescription drug and opioid abuse.
  • Veterans and Military Families – positively impacting the quality of life of veterans and improving military family strength.
  • Rural intermediaries – organizations that demonstrate measurable impact and primarily serve rural communities with limited resources and organizational infrastructure.
  • Faith-based organizations.

Funder: Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS)
Eligibility: Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS (other than institutions of higher education) nonprofits that do not have a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, private institutions of higher education, public and state controlled institutions of higher education, independent school districts, city or township governments, county governments, state governments, public housing authorities/Indian housing authorities, special district governments, Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized), Native American tribal organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments).
Contact: Link. 


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Housing Is Harm Reduction for Youth Experiencing Homelesssness

Syda Productions/Shutterstock

.

The epidemic of youth homelessness is rooted in oppression, white supremacy and, more specifically, a social service culture that too often pits populations against each other and has granted individuals (politicians, government, nonprofit organizations) the power to determine who is deserving of what. Therefore, they also have the ability to design entire systems based on extremely biased ideologies that often harm those who they are tasked with supporting. 

We (society) have created homelessness systems that — rather than just giving young people housing — make them do two backflips, learn another language and donate their own dignity before they can be put on a waitlist to be considered for housing. Imagine what would happen if we just gave youth experiencing homelessness housing, with being homeless the only qualifying criteria? It would seriously reduce the harm that is being inflicted by the current systems, and would also decrease future harm, because the young person would be housed. 

Housing First: Lyndon Hernandez (headshot), youth peer advocate/community organizer, smiling man with glasses, dark suit, dark shirt, dark tie, dark shoes

Lyndon Chris Hernandez

Housing First is the idea that people experiencing homelessness should be connected to permanent housing as quickly as possible, without any preconditions and barriers. This idea of giving people that need housing housing without all the hoops we cited above, is credited to Sam Tsemberis. In 1992, he founded Pathways to Housing in New York City on the belief that housing is a human right. 

However, like all great ideas, it took a long time for the government, specifically the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to agree with the extremely radical idea that people who don’t have a place to live deserve one. It wasn’t until a few years ago that HUD started to mandate that their grantees use a Housing First approach. So why are youth still homeless?

Research shows that not all youth experience homelessness the same way, at the same rate or for the same amount of time. On any given night in New York City, there are approximately 4,500 youth under the age of 25 who are sleeping in the shelters or on the streets. Of those youths, 95% of them are youth of color. In the total youth population ages 14 to 24, youth of color represent about 75%

Forty-two percent of them identify as LGBTQ, compared with about 7% of all youth identifying as LGBTQ. In addition, nearly half of all homeless youth identified in a national research study had been in juvenile detention, jail or prison. In order to address the needs of youth experiencing homelessness, we must ensure that approaches such as Housing First are equitable, and not just in theory, but in practice. 

Systems, programs must not be adultist

As more resources (aka $) are allocated to meet the needs of youth experiencing homelessness, we must hold systems and individual programs accountable to ensure they are incorporating harm reduction approaches and truly incorporating Housing First interventions. Systems, as a whole, must prioritize the needs of homeless young people in the way that they grant benefits, develop permanent housing and assess need. 

We cannot declare we are giving youth a pathway out of homelessness if the supports they are eligible for are attached to specific system contacts, as opposed to their lived experiences. We cannot consider a young person “housed” after we give them a voucher when the reality is that due to rising housing costs and gentrification, it is unlikely they will ever find a landlord who will rent to them. And when developing housing policies, we cannot base our thresholds on the most high-functioning youth.  

Housing First: Jamie Powlovich (headshot), smiling woman with short blond hair wearing earphones, gray jacket with decorative safety pins, gray top.

Jamie Powlovich

At the programmatic level, we must demand that providers move away from punitive approaches and meet young people where they are, which is different than adults deciding what they should be doing and holding them to adultist standards. We cannot allow programs to get anti-trafficking funding that punish youth for engaging in sex work to survive and then refuse them housing when they get arrested for solicitation. Nor can we allow programs that provide “trauma-informed” services to justify homelessness as an appropriate consequence for a young person smoking weed, coming in late or not going to school. But we do. 

By voting for politicians who do not care about ending youth homelessness, we are creating harm. By allowing government resources to be directed toward programs that are not meeting the needs of the youth they are funded to serve, we are creating more harm. By not questioning and advocating against policies that are discriminatory and ineffective, we are creating even more harm. 

Young people know what they need. Listen to them. Young people know what programs are doing the best work. Fund those programs. We believe that housing is a fundamental human right, and that young people experiencing homelessness have already endured too much harm. We should not be supporting and expanding systems and programs that are harming them further. We must do better. 

Lyndon Chris Hernandez is a youth peer advocate/community organizer in New York City. His goal is to ensure the voices of youth are heard and to understand anything is possible as long as you believe in it.

Jamie Powlovich is the executive director of the New York state Coalition for Homeless Youth. She has dedicated her life to fighting to end youth homelessness and ensuring that youth with lived experience are collaborative partners in the movement.

The post Housing Is Harm Reduction for Youth Experiencing Homelesssness appeared first on Youth Today.


Housing Is Harm Reduction for Youth Experiencing Homelesssness

Syda Productions/Shutterstock

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The epidemic of youth homelessness is rooted in oppression, white supremacy and, more specifically, a social service culture that too often pits populations against each other and has granted individuals (politicians, government, nonprofit organizations) the power to determine who is deserving of what. Therefore, they also have the ability to design entire systems based on extremely biased ideologies that often harm those who they are tasked with supporting. 

We (society) have created homelessness systems that — rather than just giving young people housing — make them do two backflips, learn another language and donate their own dignity before they can be put on a waitlist to be considered for housing. Imagine what would happen if we just gave youth experiencing homelessness housing, with being homeless the only qualifying criteria? It would seriously reduce the harm that is being inflicted by the current systems, and would also decrease future harm, because the young person would be housed. 

Housing First: Lyndon Hernandez (headshot), youth peer advocate/community organizer, smiling man with glasses, dark suit, dark shirt, dark tie, dark shoes

Lyndon Chris Hernandez

Housing First is the idea that people experiencing homelessness should be connected to permanent housing as quickly as possible, without any preconditions and barriers. This idea of giving people that need housing housing without all the hoops we cited above, is credited to Sam Tsemberis. In 1992, he founded Pathways to Housing in New York City on the belief that housing is a human right. 

However, like all great ideas, it took a long time for the government, specifically the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to agree with the extremely radical idea that people who don’t have a place to live deserve one. It wasn’t until a few years ago that HUD started to mandate that their grantees use a Housing First approach. So why are youth still homeless?

Research shows that not all youth experience homelessness the same way, at the same rate or for the same amount of time. On any given night in New York City, there are approximately 4,500 youth under the age of 25 who are sleeping in the shelters or on the streets. Of those youths, 95% of them are youth of color. In the total youth population ages 14 to 24, youth of color represent about 75%

Forty-two percent of them identify as LGBTQ, compared with about 7% of all youth identifying as LGBTQ. In addition, nearly half of all homeless youth identified in a national research study had been in juvenile detention, jail or prison. In order to address the needs of youth experiencing homelessness, we must ensure that approaches such as Housing First are equitable, and not just in theory, but in practice. 

Systems, programs must not be adultist

As more resources (aka $) are allocated to meet the needs of youth experiencing homelessness, we must hold systems and individual programs accountable to ensure they are incorporating harm reduction approaches and truly incorporating Housing First interventions. Systems, as a whole, must prioritize the needs of homeless young people in the way that they grant benefits, develop permanent housing and assess need. 

We cannot declare we are giving youth a pathway out of homelessness if the supports they are eligible for are attached to specific system contacts, as opposed to their lived experiences. We cannot consider a young person “housed” after we give them a voucher when the reality is that due to rising housing costs and gentrification, it is unlikely they will ever find a landlord who will rent to them. And when developing housing policies, we cannot base our thresholds on the most high-functioning youth.  

Housing First: Jamie Powlovich (headshot), smiling woman with short blond hair wearing earphones, gray jacket with decorative safety pins, gray top.

Jamie Powlovich

At the programmatic level, we must demand that providers move away from punitive approaches and meet young people where they are, which is different than adults deciding what they should be doing and holding them to adultist standards. We cannot allow programs to get anti-trafficking funding that punish youth for engaging in sex work to survive and then refuse them housing when they get arrested for solicitation. Nor can we allow programs that provide “trauma-informed” services to justify homelessness as an appropriate consequence for a young person smoking weed, coming in late or not going to school. But we do. 

By voting for politicians who do not care about ending youth homelessness, we are creating harm. By allowing government resources to be directed toward programs that are not meeting the needs of the youth they are funded to serve, we are creating more harm. By not questioning and advocating against policies that are discriminatory and ineffective, we are creating even more harm. 

Young people know what they need. Listen to them. Young people know what programs are doing the best work. Fund those programs. We believe that housing is a fundamental human right, and that young people experiencing homelessness have already endured too much harm. We should not be supporting and expanding systems and programs that are harming them further. We must do better. 

Lyndon Chris Hernandez is a youth peer advocate/community organizer in New York City. His goal is to ensure the voices of youth are heard and to understand anything is possible as long as you believe in it.

Jamie Powlovich is the executive director of the New York state Coalition for Homeless Youth. She has dedicated her life to fighting to end youth homelessness and ensuring that youth with lived experience are collaborative partners in the movement.

The post Housing Is Harm Reduction for Youth Experiencing Homelesssness appeared first on Youth Today.


NE Child Health Research Grants

GRANT FOCUS: Child Health, Child Welfare, Research
Amount: $165,000
Deadline:
Oct. 7, 2019

“[The foundation] was established in 1942 to improve the health and quality of life for children through grant support of New England-based child health researchers. The Foundation is proud to have launched the careers of over 600 promising junior faculty whose research findings have contributed to significant improvements in child health. This grant is given in two cycles each year to support scientific research and advance the careers of promising scientists at premier New England medical and health institutions in a variety of pediatric disciplines.”

Funder: The Charles H. Hood Foundation
Eligibility: “All applicants must have a doctoral degree, lead independent research programs, hold a faculty appointment at a nonprofit academic, medical or research institution in the six New England states (Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut) and be working in that institution by the application deadline.”
Contact: Link. 


>>> CLICK HERE to see all of Youth Today’s GRANT LISTINGS

The post NE Child Health Research Grants appeared first on Youth Today.


Youth Technology Job/Career Pathway Development Program Grants

GRANT FOCUS: STEM Education, Youth Development, Job/Career Training
Amount: $100,000 – $350,000
Deadline:
Oct. 1, 2019

“To prepare underserved teens for the tech-reliant jobs of the future, [the foundation] seeks national nonprofit career pathway partners that generate interest and awareness in tech-related careers; improve access to training, credentialing, and employment; and support tech career progression. Our goal is to help underserved teens obtain the tech skills and training they need to be prepared for a successful career.

Best Buy is searching for national organizations with a demonstrated track record in career pathway programming to build tech skill proficiency as well as provide career readiness and employment opportunities for underserved teens. Best Buy’s national Career Pathway program takes place at Best Buy Teen Tech Center locations across the nation. The program components include: 1) Hard-skills training; 2) Nationally-recognized credentials; 3) Work-based Learning Experiences (e.g. job shadows, career panels, etc.); and ) Internship/Job Placement.”

Funder: Best Buy
Eligibility: “Best Buy invites national career pathway nonprofits that have a fundamental commitment to youth, ages 16-21, to apply for funding.”
Contact: Link. 


>>> CLICK HERE to see all of Youth Today’s GRANT LISTINGS

The post Youth Technology Job/Career Pathway Development Program Grants appeared first on Youth Today.


Waiting Period Law for Firearms Would Aim to Save Lives of Suicidal Alabamians

Roger Newton

This story is part of a series on public health and firearms. The first examined groups working to reduce homicide in Birmingham. The second interviewed Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin about his office’s peace initiative. The third examined a proposed voluntary “do not sell” list for Alabamians suffering mental illness, which aims to prevent firearm access for people with suicidal ideation.

HOMEWOOD, ALA. — Law professor Frederick Vars, 46, lives on the kind of street you’d see in a movie about the quintessential American Dream: Above neatly manicured lawns, baby swings sway. Kids walk to school along tree-lined sidewalks. Bicycles lean against front porches.

At home on a morning in early August, Vars was dressed as the professor: khakis, a blue button-down, glasses. The house was quiet despite signs of a young family. 

Soft-spoken, Vars sipped water from his kids’ Angry Birds cup.

Some may say this isn’t an expected scene for a discussion about suicide. But what is? No place protects people fully from one of this nation’s greatest public health crises. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for young people under 34, and the fourth leading cause of death for people between the ages of 35 to 54, according to the National Institute of Mental Health

The statistics may be startling in part because local news outlets have a long-standing practice of not reporting suicides. At first a tradition to protect families from what was considered taboo by societal norms, the practice continued to prevent the “copycat” effect. Not reporting suicides may have inadvertently led to deep misunderstanding. 

Researching and teaching about the intersection of law and mental illness at the University of Alabama, Vars is working to correct the course. And his work is informed by his own experience.

Today, he considers himself lucky to be alive. 

When Vars was 31, a young attorney practicing at a small firm in Chicago, he suffered a life-altering breakdown, was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and began treatment. At his sickest, Vars struggled with suicide ideation so severe, his daily life was in constant disruption.

“I was afraid to go into the kitchen because of the knives,” he said. “I didn’t trust myself.”

Grateful not be one of the 45,000 Americans who die annually of suicide, Vars considers himself lucky because at his darkest time, he didn’t have easy access to a firearm.

Firearms are by far the deadliest means of suicide in the United States, accounting for 50% of self-inflicted fatalities. In Alabama, according to the latest data from the public health department, 70% of suicides are carried out with guns. For every suicide in the U.S., there are 25 attempts, but unlike other common methods of self-harm, self-inflicted gunshot wound survival is rare: Only 15% of people who attempt suicide with a gun survive.

Both here and nationally, the majority of completed suicides are white men. In Alabama, 90% of suicide deaths are white men.

suicide: Serious-looking man in blue checked shirt, khakis, glasses sits at table.

Law professor Frederick Vars is proposing legislation across the country to enable people who suffer mental illness to protect themselves from access to firearms.

In hope of saving lives like his own, Vars is proposing legislation across the country to enable people who suffer mental illness to protect themselves from access to firearms. 

Vars likens his measure to so-called “red flag” laws. Supported by top Republican lawmakers, including President Donald Trump, “red flag” laws allow police or family members to petition a court for temporary removal of firearms from persons who present a harm to themselves or others. Vars’ bill is a voluntary, self-imposed restriction.

The bill allows people who suffer mental illness to add their names to a “no sell” list for firearms. Vars is traveling the country with the proposal. So far, the measure has been adopted into law by Washington state, is in consideration in Massachusetts and will be proposed to the Alabama legislature next year. 

Republican Rep. Allen Farley, who plans to sponsor the bill in Alabama, said this measure would not “infringe on any American’s Second Amendment Rights.” Instead, he said, it allows people the option to protect themselves in a time of great vulnerability — in a state that ranks poorly for mental health access.

The details of the bill are being worked out: In Alabama, the list would be a temporary, 21-day delay. If adopted in Massachusetts, a mental health provider or judge would decide if the person was well enough to buy a firearm once on the list. To save infrastructure costs, the database would plug into the existing federal background check system. 

Working with lawmakers, Vars is hoping to address public fears, which vary state to state: No one — a mental health provider, employer or family member — would be allowed to coerce a person to sign up for the “no sell” list. No one would be allowed to discriminate against a person who does not put their name on the list. In this way, Vars compared the proposed law to existing measures in states with voluntary “no gambling” lists for people who struggle with addiction. 

Public and mental health providers across Alabama, including groups dedicated to suicide prevention, support Vars’ efforts. The National Rifle Association does not oppose the bill.

“This isn’t about taking away rights,” Vars said. “This is about creating a better chance for survival.”

He called this measure a “politically achievable” step toward reducing access to firearms for people suffering mental illness. In Alabama alone, he said, the voluntary “no sell” list has the potential to save hundreds of lives a year.

“This allows someone to say, ‘You may not know I’m a harm to myself or others, but I do,’” Vars said. 

Suicides and white men

A few days after the El Paso and Dayton massacres, while the country was debating whether to focus on mental health care or gun control, Vars said we should be focusing on the intersection of both.

Policy discussions to prevent mass shootings are, of course, important, but there needs to be greater emphasis on who’s at risk for mental health-related firearm deaths, he said.

The startling reality is: The majority of firearm deaths in the U.S. are from suicide. 

“[Suicide] doesn’t have that kind of fear factor, which I think really tends to drive the public debate, the public imagination,” Vars said. “People don’t typically imagine themselves the victim of gun suicide” even though suicide ideation, suicide attempts and death by suicide affects people across socioeconomic status, age and gender.

There is one demographic that needs more public health attention: white men.

“Nobody has a good answer.” That’s what David Coombs, president of the Alabama Suicide Prevention and Resources Coalition, said in a recent interview when asked about white men killing themselves at such a high rate. 

With the second-highest rate of gun deaths, the latest public health data reports a distinct racial split between those dying by firearm in this state: Of the 1,034 Alabamians who died of gunshots wounds, 82% were men. 

Alabama’s suicide victims were 90% white men (72% used a firearm as a weapon), while 60% of gun-related homicide victims in the state are African American men. 

Groups working in predominantly black communities to prevent homicide deaths range from government programs to grassroots efforts. But no group in Alabama could be found that is specifically working to save the lives of white men who might commit suicide. 

Some studies suggest a link between suicide rates and economic downturns, the societal expectations of men to be the earners of a household, how jobs equal self-worth. Others suggest inherent issues with masculinity and how boys are raised to withhold emotions, to self-medicate rather than seek help when they’re struggling with depression or other forms of mental illness.

But public health research suggests suicide numbers aren’t representative of widespread mental illness among white males so much as they point to issues of firearm access: Though men are 3.5 times more likely to die by suicide than women, adult women reported and are treated for attempts 1.4 times as often than men. 

The difference is men are more likely to attempt suicide with guns. 

Nearly half of white men own firearms, according to the Pew Research Center

Coombs said his organization encourages families of suicidal persons to take precautions by removing bullets, adding safety triggers, locking away guns or safely storing guns with family members elsewhere while a person in the house is suffering from suicidal ideation. 

Unfortunately, he said, Alabamians have been resistant to those suggestions. 

“Many people keep guns because they fear intruders when, in fact, out of all the gun deaths in homes … 90% are either suicides or homicides by people in the house or living in the household. But that doesn’t seem to have much effect,” Coombs said. Intruder-specific firearm deaths aren’t tracked federally, but the FBI data for robbery-related firearm fatalities amounts to a tiny number, under 2% of total homicides in the U.S. 

So, how will the proposed law make a difference in the number of firearm-related deaths? 

No access to deadly weapons key to survival

When a person is deeply suicidal, suffering enough to make an attempt, it’s often a temporary state of mind brought on by circumstantial crisis or mental illness, particularly depression, according to Coombs.

“Temporary” is the key word. 

Nearly 90% of people who survive suicide attempts do not later die by suicide.

Mental illness that triggers suicidal thinking may be lifelong but there’s hope for survival: Like Vars, most people survive suicidal ideation and attempts when they don’t have access to deadly weapons.

Intervention, including tactics like directly asking if someone has a plan to kill himself and disrupting that plan by removing deadly means (weapons, medications, etc.), allows for life-saving delays while a person can seek professional help.

“One of the biggest myths that I encounter very regularly is that suicide is a choice … and that there’s nothing we can do to prevent it,” said Judith Harrington, a counselor and associate professor at the University of Montevallo

Research shows waiting periods help

Intervention and prevention are made more difficult by easy access to firearms in Alabama, say experts across the fields of public health, mental health and law enforcement. 

The idea for the self-imposed “no sell” list came to Vars after researching waiting periods.

“There’s this perception that once you’ve decided to attempt suicide, you’re just going to keep trying until you succeed,” Vars said. “And in fact, the research suggests that’s not true at all.”

Working with Russell Griffin, associate professor in the school of public health at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Vars conducted a study that looked at waiting periods over three decades, tracking suicide deaths both by firearms and other means. Vars found firearm waiting periods that were as short as 24 hours decreased the overall number of suicide attempts and deaths in a state — not just suicide by firearm. 

In other words, people were not using a different means to kill themselves if firearms were less available.

Overall, there was a 2 to 5% reduction in suicide, Vars said, which may not sound like much, but amounts to “hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of lives each year.”

For the voluntary “no sell” or waiting list to work here, Alabamians would have to sign up. 

So Vars conducted research at UAB hospital, asking patients receiving mental health care if they would put their names on a “no sell” list to prevent themselves from buying a gun. 

Nearly half said yes. Women were slightly more likely to sign up than men, a trend that repeated when Vars conducted a survey with the general population.

Destigmatizing mental health issues, particularly among men, would increase people’s likeliness to sign up, Vars said. 

Public health researchers have long documented stories of people who have leaped from the Golden Gate Bridge in attempted suicide, only to realize once their hands left the railing they’d made a huge mistake. The moment they emerged from the water, they felt an overwhelming determination to survive.

People with mental illness may hit that lowest point where they think of attempting suicide, but “they almost always get better,” Vars said. Depression and mental illness never magically disappear, but suicide survivors are happy to be alive.

“Fundamentally, people want to live,” he said. 

If you or someone you know is suffering from suicidal ideation, call the national suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255. For help identifying people in your life at risk for suicide, resources (link to sidebar) from the Alabama Suicide Prevention and Resources Coalition.

This story was produced in conjunction with AL.com. It is part of the JJIE’s project on targeting gun violence. Support is provided by The Kendeda Fund. The JJIE is solely responsible for the content and maintains editorial independence.

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Life-saving Advice for Suicide Prevention From Public Health Experts

Middle-aged wife comforting upset grey-haired husband

fizkes/Shutterstock

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When a person commits suicide, family members are often left wondering how they could have saved their loved one’s life. 

Because suicide is often treated as taboo, there’s a misunderstanding of who is at risk and how to save lives, said Judith Harrington, a counselor and associate professor at the University of Montevallo. But signs of suicide can also be subtle and easy to miss, even in close relationships.

[Related: Proposed Waiting Period Law for Firearms Aims to Save Lives of Suicidal Alabamians]

Using QPR, which stands for “question, persuade, refer,” public and mental health experts aim to identify and address suicidal ideation. 

Question

“One of the most important things is directly asking someone if they’re considering killing themselves,” said David Coombs, president of the ASPRC.

“The main thing is not to say something like, ‘You’re not thinking of suicide, are you?’ Because that begs for a no answer.” 

Coombs said being this direct may be awkward, but even when people say no, they are appreciative of the concern and open up about other issues. 

Persuade

If someone says yes, getting that person to accept the idea of getting better and getting professional help is the next step.

“Tell them, ‘You can get past these suicidal feelings,’” Coombs said. 

Data supports this, showing severe suicidal ideation is temporary (though may return for brief periods during a person’s life), and that a disruption in someone’s thinking or planning — something as simple as asking the question — opens a door for the person to seek life-saving help.

Refer

Though Alabama lacks mental health providers in many of its rural counties, there are treatment options with the department of public health and private providers in all urban areas. 

For help locating providers:

A statewide hotline is available at 1-800-273-TALK

The Crisis Center of Birmingham offers a hotline at 205-323-7777

Do not leave someone who is acutely suicidal alone.

Key statistics in understanding who is at risk

Suicide is a major public health crisis, according to the National Institute of Mental Health:

  • Suicide is the second leading cause of death for young people under 34 
  • It’s the fourth leading cause of death for people between the ages of 35 to 54
  • Suicidal ideation impacts people across socioeconomic, racial and gender demographics

Both nationally and here in Alabama, the majority of completed suicides are by white men:

  • White men account for 70% of national suicide deaths
  • White men account 90% of Alabama’s suicide deaths
  • Men are 3.5 times more likely to die by suicide than women, but women report and are treated for attempts 1.4 times as often than men.

 The majority of suicides are carried out by firearms: 

 Surviving a suicide attempt:

  •  90% of people who survive a suicide attempt do not go on to die by suicide
  •  15% of people who attempt suicide with a gun survive

The majority of firearm deaths in the U.S. are suicide

  • 60% of firearm deaths are suicide 
  • 37% of firearm deaths are murder
  • 3% of firearm deaths are accidents

Identifying who is at risk

Learn more about these warning signs at Suicide Is Preventable.

  • Talking about death or suicide
  • Reckless behavior
  • Getting affairs in order
  • Changes in sleep
  • Feeling hopeless, desperate or trapped
  • Sudden mood changes
  • Feeling like a burden to others
  • No sense of purpose
  • Increased drug or alcohol abuse
  • Anxiety or agitation
  • Uncontrolled anger

Suicide prevention firearm safety

“When someone is in crisis, get the guns out of the household,” Coombs said. “Or make them temporarily much less accessible.”

If someone in the home is suicidal, the safest place for a firearm is outside the home with a trusted friend or family member.

If you need the firearm in your home, use these safety precautions:

  • Store firearms and ammunition separately
  • Lock firearms in a safe or with a trigger lock mechanism

If you or someone you know is suffering from suicidal ideation, call the national suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255. To learn the full QPR program, contact the Alabama Suicide Prevention and Resources Coalition.

This story was produced in conjunction with AL.com. It is part of the JJIE’s project on targeting gun violence. Support is provided by The Kendeda Fund. The JJIE is solely responsible for the content and maintains editorial independence.

The post Life-saving Advice for Suicide Prevention From Public Health Experts appeared first on Youth Today.