Suicide Prevention - El Pomar Grant
The San Juan BOCES service region has experienced an alarmingly high rate of youth suicide during recent years. In addition our community mental health center has seen a significant increase in the number of youth experiencing a mental health crisis needing hospitalization.
In response, the El Pomar Foundation awarded the SJBOCES a grant to address suicide prevention needs in our member district schools. This prevention work aims to provide tools, systems and information to school staff and community members to understand the risk factors and warning signs of youth suicide so that we can intervene early and appropriately. SJBOCES is uniquely positioned for this work with collaborative regional partnerships in schools. Since the Fall of 2017, Regional Stakeholder groups including counselors, administrators, teachers, social workers and psychologists along side vested community members, have met to identify strengths and challenges for schools in our region. We have engaged in partnerships with community resources including San Juan Basin Public Health, La Plata Youth Services and Axis Health System to provide more awareness and information to students and families and to remove barriers to services. In addition, many member districts are engaging in evidence based initiatives to create a climate and culture of belonging and support.
The period of grant funding for the Suicide Prevention Initiative has ended but the impact of the work done in schools and with the community can be seen in many of our member district schools.
If you want to know more about the Suicide Prevention Initiative or resources in the community please contact Royce Tranum, Behavioral Health Coordinator.