Spirit Lake part of Dept. of Health’s suicide prevention grant program

Staff Writer
Devils Lake Journal
Spirit Lake to receive grant money to fight suicide.

BISMARCK, N.D. – The North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH) recently awarded $500,000 to several suicide prevention programs throughout the state.

The grants are part of a $1.2 million appropriation maintained by Governor Doug Burgum and the North Dakota State Legislature during the 2017 session.

North Dakota’s suicide rate is above the national average, with suicide as the second leading cause of death among the state’s youth. A report released by the CDC found that suicide rates have been steadily increasing across the nation, but rural communities are seeing a more rapid increase.

“Suicide cuts across economic, social and racial lines. It devastates families across North Dakota,” says Alison Traynor, Suicide Prevention Director with NDDoH. “But there is hope. Every day more and more people are finding effective programs and treatments, and they are getting better.”

Proven suicide prevention programs do exist, and North Dakota is supporting those programs.

This years’ awardees include:

•Spirit Lake and Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa received funding for their cultural digital storytelling and Sources of Strength programs.

According to NDDoH, Sources of Strength is a culturally relevant prevention program shown to prevent risk for suicide, bullying, and substance use disorder.

“Sources of Strength saves lives by building adult-youth relationships, teaching coping skills and promoting help-seeking behaviors,” Claudette McLeod, Turtle Mountain’s Suicide Prevention Coordinator, said.

•Six Regional Education Associations (REAs), Great Northwest, Mid-Dakota, Missouri River, Northcentral, Northeast, and Roughrider, received funds to provide proven, evidence-based suicide prevention programs like Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) and Sources of Strength.