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. 


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

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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

.

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

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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.

The post Waiting Period Law for Firearms Would Aim to Save Lives of Suicidal Alabamians appeared first on Youth Today.


Life-saving Advice for Suicide Prevention From Public Health Experts

Middle-aged wife comforting upset grey-haired husband

fizkes/Shutterstock

.

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.


Lightning flashes illuminate storm behavior

Anybody who has ever tried to photograph lightning knows that it takes patience and special camera equipment. Now, a new study is using those brief but brilliant flashes to illuminate cloud structures and shed light on storm cell behavior, giving weather forecasters new tools for predicting lightning hazards.