FRANKFORT, Ind. – The Community Schools of Frankfort announced it is the recipient of a Preventing Youth Suicide Initiative grant from North Central Health Services (NCHS) totaling $36,600. Through the initiative, NCHS is partnering with the Education Development Center (EDC) to provide school and district teams an opportunity to focus on integrating mental health within the tiers of the education system. This initiative will ensure that school communities are part of an effort to address and enhance suicide prevention school-wide, building on a solid foundation of social-emotional learning and life skills.

The NCHS Preventing Youth Suicide Initiative was informed by community health conversations conducted throughout the NCHS service area in 2018 and 2021. During these conversations, school administrators shared their concerns about the mental health and wellbeing of their students. These needs were confirmed by the NCHS & River Bend Hospital 2018/2021 Community Health Needs Assessment along with outcomes data gathered from the Resilient Youth Initiative.

This grant will provide K-12 schools and corporations with grant funding and technical assistance to provide schools with training and systems support to build robust evidence-based suicide prevention efforts. Part of those efforts may be awareness training on the specific signs of suicide, how to intervene, and/or programs to engage peers, build help-seeking skills, etc.

“Data from the Indiana Youth Institute and Mental Health America indicate that suicide risk for youth ages 10-24 has increased significantly,” said Stephanie Long, CEO & President, NCHS. “Research tells us when a variety of prevention strategies are implemented, youth suicide rates are reduced. We are thankful for the schools’ efforts to continue to advance suicide prevention strategies in their communities.”

In total, NCHS will invest over 1.1 million dollars in Preventing Youth Suicide Initiative grants and support to 12 school corporations in Benton, Clinton, Fountain, Tippecanoe, Warren, and White counties: Attica Consolidated School Corporation, Benton Community School Corporation, Clinton Central School Corporation, Clinton Prairie School Corporation, Community Schools of Frankfort, Frankfort Crossing School of Business & Entrepreneurship, Lafayette Catholic School System, Lafayette School Corporation, MSD of Warren County, Rossville Consolidated School District, Tippecanoe School Corporation, & Twin Lakes School Corporation.

NCHS is committed to providing health care and promoting healthy communities for the benefit of the citizens of Benton, Carroll, Clinton, Fountain, Montgomery, Tippecanoe, Warren, and White counties. Since 1999, NCHS has awarded over $76 million in grant funding to more than 225 organizations. Beyond its Community Benefit Capital Grants program, NCHS initiates strategic partnerships like the Preventing Youth Suicide Initiative with coalitions, funders, nonprofits, and other entities to directly address the most critical community health needs identified by the NCHS and River Bend Hospital Community Health Needs Assessment. These NCHS-initiated Community Benefit Partnerships fund the launch, expansion, or strengthening of programs and services that improve health outcomes and develop healthy communities.