The overall aim of the Show Me Zero Youth Suicide Initiative is to reduce suicides and suicide attempts by accomplishing three major goals:
1) Improve the system of care for suicidal youth who use hospital emergency departments, in-patient psychiatric facilities, and/or crisis hotlines.
2) Improve the capacity of school systems to identify, respond, and refer youth at risk of suicide.
3) Strengthen overall prevention efforts for at-risk youth populations in other settings.
The project targets 10-24 year old youth living in five counties in the Kansas City, Missouri area to receive extensive suicide prevention and early intervention services. This project differs from previous suicide prevention grant efforts by taking a more targeted and intensive approach to addressing youth suicide, focusing more heavily on prevention and early intervention in a specific geographic region with higher than average rates of suicide. Lessons learned from this highly targeted approach will be used to inform similar efforts to prevent youth suicide statewide. This initiative will provide direct services to 2,000 individuals in year one and increase annually, serving 15,000 over the grant period, with the potential for statewide expansion.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) awarded the Missouri Department of Mental Health (DMH) $3,680,000 over 5 years to execute the project. The project will be administered by the DMH, and independently evaluated by the Missouri Institute of Mental Health at the University of Missouri St. Louis. The Institute’s independent evaluation will assist DMH in assuring youth suicide prevention interventions are evidence-based and tailored to the particular needs of Missouri communities.
The initiative will place special emphasis on those at higher risk for suicide, including youth who have previously attempted suicide, 18-24 year old youth, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth.