Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $526,191)
Seneca County, NY has a disturbingly high rate of suicide completion for a county of its size. The prevalence of drug use, disconnection from the community, and untreated mental health issues amongst youth is ultimately related to the elevated potential for students across all three school districts to take their own life. Romulus, South Seneca, and Seneca Falls School Districts will utilize three tiers of training and a community schools’ framework to assess and respond to student mental health to reduce the number of students who contemplate, attempt, and/or commit suicide. Two of these three training courses (Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) and Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST)) utilize the train the trainer model to perpetuate skill sharing and knowledge in a thoughtful and sustainable manner. The third tier of suicide prevention/intervention will be supported by CarePathTM which focuses on empowering students and their caregivers to find success in the school environment. Overseeing this implementation as the project director (PD) will be Dr. Joseph Fantigrossi. Working closely with district liaisons, leadership teams, partner organizations/agencies, and the school districts themselves, Dr. Fantigrossi is dedicated to providing safe and healthy environments for students and families. With their wellbeing at the core of this initiative, we hope to provide training, provide mental health resources, connect organizations to each other, and limit/prevent the amount of self-harm and suicide/suicidal thoughts amongst Seneca County students, families, and all residents.