Newsroom > DHHS News Release

May 21, 2010

Jeanne Atkinson, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-8287
Danielle Sodergren, Interchurch Ministries of Nebraska, Suicide Prevention and Military Outreach Coordinator, (402) 476-3391

Groups Receive Youth Suicide Prevention Grants; Future Grants Also Available

Lincoln – Suicide is the second leading cause of death for Nebraskans ages 15 to 19, but education and awareness can save lives and help prevent many suicides.

The Nebraska Youth Suicide Prevention Project recently awarded grants to five suicide prevention coalition groups. The grants focus on increasing general awareness of suicide as a preventable public health issue and decreasing Nebraska’s youth suicide rates.

“We’re part of a national effort to prevent suicide among youth,” said Scot Adams, director of the Division of Behavioral Health in the Department of Health and Human Services. “Since we know some youth are at higher risk for suicide, the grants focus on prevention and intervention activities like outreach and screening.”

The five suicide prevention coalition group that recently received grants are:

  • Hall County Suicide Prevention Coalition, $5,000
    Contact: Virgil Harden, Grand Island Public Schools on behalf of the Hall County Suicide Prevention Coalition
  • Lincoln Indian Center, $4,000
    Contact: Clyde Tyndall, Executive Director, Indian Center, Inc.
  • Northeast Nebraska Youth Suicide Prevention, $5,000
    Contact: Rev. Robin Stoops, Norfolk Area Ministerial Association
  • South Central Suicide Prevention Coalition, $5,000
    Contact: Cindi McDowell, South Heartland District Health Department
  • Panhandle Suicide Prevention, $5,000
    Contact: Kimberly Engel, Director, Panhandle Public Health District

In addition, a second round of grant funding is now available. Community-based groups in Nebraska can apply by June 1st for grants of $1,000 to $5,000 to implement practices to prevent suicide among youth up to age 24. Applicants should propose community projects focusing on youth at high risk for suicide, including youth involved in multiple systems, minority youth and youth in transition to adulthood, including young returning veterans.

Details of the recent grants and an application for the new round of grants from the Nebraska Youth Suicide Prevention Project can be found at

Grant funding comes from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. DHHS will work with the University of Nebraska Public Policy Center and Interchurch Ministries of Nebraska to carry out grant activities and evaluate the project’s progress.