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Umatter and the Vermont Suicide Prevention Center

by Center for Health & Learning
Umatter and the Vermont Suicide Prevention Center
Umatter and the Vermont Suicide Prevention Center
Umatter and the Vermont Suicide Prevention Center
Umatter and the Vermont Suicide Prevention Center
Umatter and the Vermont Suicide Prevention Center
Umatter and the Vermont Suicide Prevention Center
Umatter and the Vermont Suicide Prevention Center
Umatter and the Vermont Suicide Prevention Center
Umatter and the Vermont Suicide Prevention Center
Umatter and the Vermont Suicide Prevention Center

The Center for Health and Learning manages the Vermont Suicide Prevention Center (VT SPC), a public-private partnership that serves as a state-wide resource fostering a sustainable approach to suicide prevention in Vermont. The VT-SPC has been working on the following suicide prevention goals:

1)  Building sustainable infrastructure in Vermont for suicide prevention, intervention and postvention and substance abuse prevention through collaboration across a broad spectrum of individuals, agencies, institutions, and groups that have not previously been involved, to ensure that suicide prevention efforts in Vermont are comprehensive and sustainable.

2)  Increasing public awareness of youth suicide as a public health problem. Messages to be disseminated include that suicide is preventable; that suicide can be linked to issues of mental health and substance abuse that are preventable; and that there are effective evidence-based interventions and effective treatment strategies.

3)  Promoting and supporting the implementation of effective evidence-based suicide prevention and early intervention programs and strategies in schools, communities and Vermont institutions of higher education in order to prevent suicide among Vermont youth and adults.

CHL developed and implemented Umatter, a national best practice program and public information campaign for suicide prevention that promotes mental health, teaches self-care, risk assessment, coping and help-seeking skills.  Umatter is composed of the following components:

Umatter for Schools: Provides school teams with the knowledge and skills to develop a comprehensive, asset-based approach to suicide prevention at their school including Gatekeeper training, staff and parent awareness training, prevention and postvention protocol development and Lifelines curriculum training for implementation in grades 7-12.

Umatter for Communities: Educates professionals that work within communities to be effective in suicide prevention efforts through Gatekeeper training and prevention and postvention protocols.

Umatter for Youth and Young Adults (Umatter YYA): A youth leadership and engagement initiative that promotes mental health wellness, healthy coping mechanisms among youth and young adults, and the ability to recognize when a peer needs help and how to provide it. Umatter works with adults and teens from schools and youth serving organizations to foster healthy community cultures promoting mental health and resiliency, and addresses issues such as bullying and substance abuse prevention.  

Umatter Public Information: Umatter’s public information campaign promotes the message “you matter because you may need help and “you matter because you may be in a position to help.”  

Your support of this project, and this work, has been invaluable.  In honor of CHL's 20th Anniversary, and to support CHL's Annual Campaign, we have created a new project: CHL: Partnering With You to Prevent Suicide.  We look forwrd to giving you reports on that project!

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Jeff Benay presents on CRC
Jeff Benay presents on CRC

On May 23rd, 2019, thanks to funding from the University of Vermont's Collective Impact grant, the Vermont Suicide Prevention Center was honored to work with the Abenaki Parent Advisory Council (PAC) and Northwestern Region Counseling and Support Services (NCSS) to coordinate the Grand Isle Healthcare Provider Forum as part of the Connecting Rural Communities Project.  The three above named organizations came together with Community Health Centers of VT, Northwestern Medical Center, Veterans Administration, Supporting Services at Home, Visiting Nurse Association, UVM Medical Center and other healthcare providers to talk about building out suicide safer and culturally competent pathways to care in Grand Isle County. 

The Goal of "Connecting Rural Communities" is to improve suicide prevention efforts and access to behavioral health and health care in Grand Isle County, with a focus on providing culturally competent services to members of the Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi. In the first year of the grant, the three partnering groups met regularly to design and conduct interviews with consumers and providers of health and behavioral health services in Grand Isle; create a network map of services; plan and implement Umatter Training of Trainers and Cultural Competency trainings; and plan the culminating event, the Provider Forum.   

With a new grant from UVM Collective Impact, VTSPC, PAC, and NCSS will continue use new information from interviews and new relationships created by the interviews and the Forum to assess needs and capacities around suicide safer care; create culturally competent training materials based on input from Abenaki partners; and engage providers and community members in Umatter, Zero Suicide, and cultural competency trainings.

Tom Delaney presents on CRC
Tom Delaney presents on CRC
CRC Team!
CRC Team!
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Resolution Reading in House Chamber
Resolution Reading in House Chamber

On February 14th, the Vermont Suicide Prevention Center (VT-SPC) hosted Suicide Prevention Day at the State House in Montpelier with our partner, the VT Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP-VT). We are grateful to AFSP-VT for planning, implementing, and funding the event with us. Great connections were made with legislators, while VT-SPC members and AFSP advocates gained knowledge and skills around suicide prevention advocacy.

The day focused on Suicide Safe Pathways in Health Care. Attendees joined a press conference and a training on talking to legislators, followed by lunchtime meetings with legislators and adoption of a Suicide Prevention Resolution in the House Chamber, as well as a special remembrance where flowers were handed to legislators in memory of Vermonters lost to suicide. The event was co-hosted by Rep. Anne Donahue and co-organized with AFSP-VT on behalf of the VTSP Coalition, which represents more than 70 organizations and individuals concerned about suicide.

This spring, on May 16th and June 6th, the VT-SPC will host the Zero Suicide Practice Institute in Monpelier, VT. Zero Suicide is a commitment to suicide prevention in health and mental health care systems. It involves the implementation of a set of evidence-based tools and strategies used in a strong pathway of care for people who are suicidal.

Composed of two full days of teamwork and learning from national speakers and Vermont colleagues, the Zero Suicide Practice Institute brings together mental health, health care, state, and local teams to establish a common frame of reference, language and understanding of the use of evidence-based tools for screening, assessment, treatment and follow-up. Teams will conclude the Institute steeped in an understanding of Zero Suicide, with knowledge about their organizations’ capacity and readiness to implement the tools and processes.

VT-SPC is a public-private partnership with the Vermont Agency of Human Services, foundations, individuals and organizations. Created by the Center for Health and Learning (CHL), our mission is to create health promoting communities, in which people have the knowledge, attitudes, skills and resources to reduce the risk of suicide in Vermont. Your support of our Global Giving Project, Umatter and the Vermont Suicide Prevention Center, gives us the funding we need to advance this work.

Please consider continuing to help us expand the reach of our programs by clicking on the "Give Now" button below to make a recurring donation that will provide long term support for the VTSPC. You can learn more about our work by visiting www.vtspc.org and www.healthandlearning.org.

Thank you for your support.

VTSP Coalition Members: Lila Bennet, Terri Lavely
VTSP Coalition Members: Lila Bennet, Terri Lavely
Julia Hampton (VT-SPC) hands flower to legislator
Julia Hampton (VT-SPC) hands flower to legislator

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Organization Information

Center for Health & Learning

Location: Brattleboro, VT - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @health_learning
Project Leader:
JoEllen Tarallo
Brattleboro, VT United States

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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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