DMH Releases FY21 Suicide Prevention Plan Progress Report

The Mississippi Department of Mental Health (DMH) has released its FY21 Progress Report for the state’s Suicide Prevention Plan, a comprehensive document that lays out the goals and objectives the state is taking to fight death by suicide.

The Suicide Prevention Plan includes three goals:

  1. Engage and empower Mississippians to help prevent suicide by increasing awareness of suicide as a public health crisis and knowledge of prevention efforts
  2. Promote identification, intervention, and care for people at risk for suicide utilizing evidence-based and best practices to improve clinical and community prevention services
  3. Develop postvention services to care for and support individuals affected by suicide deaths and attempts to promote healing and implement community strategies to help prevent further suicides

The progress report lays specific strategies and actions taken during the year that relate to achieving those goals. Partners who have contributed to these actions during the year include not just DMH, but other state agencies, advocates, and other mental health providers in the state.

In Goal 1, the report notes progress made in public awareness efforts during FY21. DMH hosted four train-the-trainer sessions for Shatter the Silence during the  year. As an ongoing awareness and education campaign, Shatter the Silence is designed to teach participants warning signs and risk factors of suicide, as well as how they can connect someone with services near them. The train-the-trainer sessions conducted in FY21 increased the number of Shatter the Silence trainers in the state to 108, including staff members from the Mississippi State Department of Health and Community Mental Health Centers in the state. Throughout the year, more than 5,000 people took part in Shatter the Silence presentations.

Goal 2 relates to utilizing evidence-based practices to continue promoting the identification, intervention, and care of people at risk for suicide. The report notes that 6,807 people were trained in an evidence-based curriculum to treat people at risk of suicide during the year. That includes 259 people trained in Mental Health First Aid. DMH also partnered with the Mississippi State University Department of Psychology for The Alliance Project, a suicide prevention gatekeeper training that is available virtually and reached 6,548 people during the year.

The partnership for The Alliance Project also contributes to Goal 3, as it includes postvention training to assist communities after a death by suicide. In addition, DMH will continue to work with the MSU Department of Psychology on a Postvention Services training. The Suicide Prevention Workgroup will continue to work towards and formalize efforts for loss provider support groups  and responding to suicide contagion in communities in FY22.

Click below to read the entire FY21 Suicide Prevention Plan Progress Report

FY21 Suicide Prevention Plan Progress Report