Human Services’ Behavioral Health Division announces suicide prevention funding opportunity

LuWanna Lawrence
Special to Devils Lake Daily Journal

BISMARCK  –  With COVID-19 rates increasing throughout the state, the behavioral health of North Dakotans is important to prioritize.

The North Dakota Department of Human Services’ Behavioral Health Division is announcing a funding opportunity for local government organizations, community nonprofit or private organizations and tribal nations to expand suicide prevention efforts in the state.

This opportunity focuses on suicide prevention/postvention policy implementation, suicide prevention training for primary care and behavioral health professionals and suicide risk screenings. These evidence-based strategies create a solid foundation for identifying, assisting, and caring for individuals who may be at risk for suicide.

“Suicide is complex, and many factors contribute to it, but with a comprehensive approach and effective strategies, it can be preventable,” said Moriah Opp, suicide prevention administrator.

Total available funding is about $750,000. Funding will be allocated equally among six awardees to provide suicide prevention and postvention evidence-based practices.

To view the solicitation notice and to apply, visit http://www.nd.gov/dhs/info/publicnotice/2021/9-23-solicitation-notice-suicide-prevention.pdf. Applications must be submitted by Oct. 15, 2021, at 12 p.m. CT. The deadline for questions is Sept. 30, 2021, at 4 p.m. CT. Interested individuals can email Opp at mopp@nd.gov for more information.

This opportunity coincides with National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, an important time for open dialogue about suicide and to encourage North Dakotans to learn about available resources.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-8255, is confidential and available 24-hours a day/7-days a week. 

The department’s Help is Here initiative offers resources on behavioral health and wellness and also links to behavioral health services and supports. Visit www.helpishere.nd.gov.

The division’s suicide prevention resource page at www.behavioralhealth.nd.gov/prevention/suicide has information on how to recognize warning signs and support a loved one. 

Parents can find information on suicide and other behavioral health resources at www.parentslead.org.

This is also a time to remember those who have died by suicide and support the survivors of loss in our communities. For tips on supporting survivors of loss, visit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention at afsp.org/ive-lost-someone.

The Behavioral Health Division is responsible for reviewing and identifying service needs and activities in the state's behavioral health system to ensure health and safety and access to quality services. It establishes quality assurance standards for the licensure of substance use disorder program services and facilities and provides policy leadership in partnership with public and private entities. For more information, visit www.behavioralhealth.nd.gov.