KDADS funds creation of new coalition to fight suicide in Kansas

988 Suicide Prevention Lifeline
988 Suicide Prevention Lifeline(MGN)
Published: Feb. 6, 2023 at 12:57 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability has funded the creation of a new coalition to fight suicide in the Sunflower State.

Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services Secretary Laura Howard announced on Monday, Feb. 6, that the agency has given $231,616 to the Kansas Suicide Prevention Headquarters to create the Kansas Suicide Prevention Coalition. The money will also advance the Coalition’s enhancement of suicide prevention efforts, goals and activities statewide.

“We are proud to award these funds to KSPHQ as they continue to create awareness about suicide, increase access to resources for prevention and implement strategies that reduce incidents of suicide in Kansas, including how to recognize and respond to someone who needs help,” KDADS Behavioral Health Services Commissioner Andy Brown said.

KDADS indicated that KSPHQ will provide logistical and financial support to the Kansas Suicide Prevention Coalition, including the executive committee and designated subgroups. They will provide technical and subject matter expertise, develop social media and website hosting and collaborate as activities are carried out to ease statewide issues.

To increase capacity, sustainability and partnership in suicide prevention, KDADS said the establishment of the coalition will represent both public and private sectors that seek to empower Kansans to connect suicide prevention efforts that are already available.

“It has been incredible to see the efforts of so many Kansans come to fruition in the creation of the first Kansas Suicide Prevention Coalition. This group is made up of individuals and organizations invested in suicide prevention and united in its charge to ensure equitable access to partnerships, advocacy, resources, ideas and data,” Kansas Suicide Prevention Coalition President Bailey Blair said. “The Coalition recognizes the incredible work of survivors and champions that has made this possible and hopes to elevate the efforts of advocates around the state to ensure all Kansans have access to responsive and supportive suicide care.”

The agency noted that the goals of the coalition will include:

  • Provide enrollment support to new and existing members
  • Facilitate the annual review and updates of the Kansas Suicide Prevention Plan
  • Assist in completing an environmental scan of suicide prevention activities statewide
  • Organize an in-person annual meeting of the Kansas Suicide Prevention Coalition that includes suicide prevention/intervention trainers
  • Provide information to policymakers and advocates on how to enhance efforts of suicide prevention

To complete these goals, KDADS said education from members and the community is emphasized and encouraged. The coalition will promote sharing resources, connecting organizations, identifying populations at risk and addressing behavioral health disparities that exist.

KDADS indicated that it has posted a Request for Funding for a Kansas Community Suicide Prevention Grant that aims to reduce and prevent suicidal behaviors through the use and sustainability of effective, culturally competent suicide prevention strategies and activities throughout communities in the Sunflower State.

To view the RFA, click HERE.