Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation gets federal grant Posted on November 20, 2018 0 The Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation (OSPF) has been selected to receive a federal Mental Health Awareness Training (MHAT) grant award focused on providing mental health training and promoting awareness of mental health services to Ohio veterans, service members, and national guardsmen/women. This funding, will provide $125,000 per year for three years to support the hosting of mental health first aid trainings and an ongoing suicide prevention awareness campaign for Ohio’s military population. The grant is provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA); and is one of up to 126 MHAT grants to be awarded across the U.S. OSPF has partnered with Ohio veterans’ organizations and behavioral health providers to ensure the activities in the grant will be delivered effectively and in collaboration with the target populations listed. Major partners in this work include the Ohio National Guard, Mindful Minds Inc., and Partnership for Violence Free Families. This grant award will allow the Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation to help reduce the stigma which often surrounds mental health and suicide prevention, and the campaign will encourage Ohio’s service members to support one another in pursuing positive mental health. Ohio’s veteran suicide rate is 32.1 deaths per 100,000 individuals which far outpaces the general Ohio age-adjusted suicide rate of 13.5 per 100,000. The most recent Ohio Violent Death Report also found that 17 percent of Ohio’s suicide deaths were by active duty service members or veterans in 2015. With the majority of veterans and service members in need of mental health treatment not seeking out or receiving services, a great need is present in Ohio, according to a release from the OSPF. This grant-funded project will seek to address this issue by increasing the number of service members and veterans aware of mental health, educating service members and those supporting them on mental health, and increasing their abilities to seek out mental health services before they are in crisis. Sandy Williams, OSPF board chair, said, “The high prevalence of deaths by suicide in the military and veteran community makes this a key population which we have a duty to serve in Ohio.” Susan Farnham, OSPF board member, added, “This grant provides an opportunity to not only serve Ohio’s veterans and service members, but to also actively involve their direct voices in raising suicide prevention awareness across the state’s service member populations.” For more information on how this grant will impact the local community, call Donna Dickman of Partnership for Violence Free Families at 419-549-8530.