LSF Awarded Grant to Prevent Suicide in COVID-19 Era

With mental health challenges on the rise in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, LSF Health Systems recently applied for and was awarded an $800,000, 16-month suicide prevention grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). LSF will partner with healthcare, housing and domestic violence providers in Duval County to implement emergency suicide prevention best practices for adults 25 years of age or older. Those partners include Mental Health Resource Center (MHJRC), Changing Homelessness, Hubbard House, and Baptist Health Emergency Department. The goal is to prevent suicide and attempted suicide among adults, including victims of domestic violence, by implementing Zero Suicide best practices. The project provides screening and care coordination.

“During this time of extended uncertainty and anxiety, many people who have coped with negative thoughts their entire lives are going to hit a wall, and some will feel trapped and desperate,” said Dr. Christine Cauffield, CEO of LSF Health Systems.  “With this additional funding from SAMSHA, the safety net will be expanded with more screening tools and compassionate trained staff.” The grant’s Suicide Prevention Team will receive referrals from inpatient crisis stabilization units (CSUs), emergency departments and the region’s domestic violence center. Individuals deemed at risk of suicide will receive a comprehensive assessment by the MHRC Suicide Prevention Team and a Safety Plan with lethal means counseling as part of the assessment. Training will also take place to help healthcare, housing, and domestic violence center workers recognize the signs and symptoms of suicide. In addition, training will be provided to healthcare and housing provider agencies to help team members recognize the signs of abuse and domestic violence. With the grant, partners plan to screen up to 1,200 individuals and provide intensive care coordination services to up to 500 participants over the 16-month grant period.

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