Mental Health Association of Middle Tennessee

East Tennessee Youth and Young Adult Suicide Prevention

Mental Health America of the MidSouth (MHA), which provides administrative oversight for Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network (TSPN), seeks a planning grant to support efforts to prevent youth suicide in East Tennessee. TSPN is charged by the governor to teach communities effective suicide prevention/intervention techniques that can be used by parents, peers, educators, and non-mental health professionals alike, with the intention of reducing suicide rates statewide. In addition to its administrative oversight from MHA, TSPN also reports to a gubernatorial-appointed Advisory Council. Youth suicide is an issue in Tennessee. As of 2017, suicide is the leading cause of death for young people ages 10-17 in Tennessee, with one person in this age group lost to suicide each week. In the past three years, the area around Knox County has averaged more than five youth/young adult suicides per year. We believe with proper prevention efforts, these deaths can be prevented. The Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network’s plan to reduce East Tennessee youth suicides includes: • Communicating with public and private K-12 schools, technical schools, colleges, and universities in Anderson, Blount, Grainger, Jefferson, Knox, Loudon, Roane, Sevier and Union Counties to lend expertise on how best to prevent youth suicide • Working with regional TSPN Advisory Council members to create outreach plans for each county • Scheduling QPR (Question, Persuade, Prefer) workshops for teachers, school employees, and parents throughout the eligible nine-county region • Training 15 new QPR trainers in the nine counties • Providing prevention resources to schools, afterschool programs, and other entities that serve young people.