canada africa partner reservation Suicide prevention plan to use new strategies from 2024-2026

Suicide prevention plan to use new strategies from 2024-2026

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PHOENIX – The Arizona Department of Health Services is launching a new three-year suicide prevention plan, authorities announced last week.

Joshua Stegemeyer, suicide prevention program manager for ADHS, said many people don’t realize how widespread this problem is.

“It’s a silent problem that people are generally unaware of,” he said KTAR News 92.3 FM.

In fact, in Arizona, there are twice as many cases of people being hospitalized for suicidal thoughts than there are hospitalizations due to car accidents, Stegemeyer said.

The 2024-2026 Suicide Prevention Action Plan is the first of its kind in Arizona because of its collaborative approach, he said. Essentially, ADHS aims to combat the problem through partnerships with various local organizations.

How will Arizona’s suicide prevention plan work?

The plan itself is split into three parts, Stegemeyer said.

First, ADHS will analyze suicide data and hospital discharge statistics to develop specific strategies.

The most exciting part of the plan, however, is the second part, Stegemeyer said. That’s the part where authorities put their ideas to the test by spending money on solutions. Specifically, nonprofits focused on suicide prevention can apply for grants across the state.

ADHS plans to distribute between 23 and 45 of these suicide prevention capacity building grants. Throughout the late spring and early summer they will be honoring various non-profit organizations.

Not only that, but the second part of the action plan is also about creating new jobs. ADHS will fund a suicide prevention professional with the Maricopa County Department of Public Health for approximately two years.

“Maricopa County includes about 60% of Arizona’s population and that is related to the risk of suicide, where it is about 60% of our total suicide deaths in the state,” Stegemeyer said. “It will be very important to have a dedicated person there.”

Additionally, ADHS will work with the University of Arizona to monitor the plan and ensure it is effective.

The third part of the plan includes deeper partnerships across the state

“The third part of our state plan is also very exciting: the partnership element of this,” Stegemeyer said.

Nearly 300 different stakeholders from more than 100 different organizations provided direct input into the state’s suicide prevention plan from August 2022 to August 2023. Together, they created 25 initiatives in the third part of the state’s overall plan.

“Every one of those was generated by someone who worked there trying to prevent suicide in our community,” he said.

Balin Overstolz McNair of KTAR News 92.3 FM contributed to this report.

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