FORT WAYNE – Parkview Health has been awarded a grant to create a regional suicide prevention program.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has given a $772,000 grant to Parkview Health. It comes at a critical time, as research shows the coronavirus pandemic is having a negative impact on the mental health of Northeast Indiana residents.
The grant will be used to hire a project coordinator and four Suicide Obviation and Support or SOS navigators. They will be embedded in hospital emergency departments and connected to resources within the Parkview Behavioral Health Institute, as well as domestic violence organizations and emergency shelters.
The SOS navigators will provide “at elbow” support for suicidal crisis and domestic violence victims, coordinating care and referrals to treatment programs, support services and community resources. The team will also conduct suicide prevention training for healthcare providers and community organizations throughout the region.
The same navigator model has been successfully implemented with peer recovery coaches in Parkview's Medication Assisted Treatment program for opiate or substance use disorder.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, Indiana’s suicide rate has been on a steep upward trend, increasing from 13.5 suicide deaths per 100,000 people in 2012 to 16.9 in 2019.
The SOS navigator program will cover eight northeast Indiana counties: LaGrange, Noble, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, Kosciusko, Wabash and Whitley. It is expected to begin within the next three months.
To be connected to mental health resources anytime, 24 hours a day, call the Parkview Behavioral Health Help Line at 260-373-7500 or 1-800-284-8439.
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