UNION COUNTY, NJ — Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey has given a $25,000 grant to the Mental Health Association in New Jersey to help spread teen suicide prevention skills. The donation, which Horizon contributed for the second year in a row, provides funds for a program, A Focus on Youth Suicide Prevention, and enables the MHANJ to continue to provide suicide prevention training to youth-serving organizations. A particular focus is given in support of youth of color and youth who identify as part of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Suicide is “the third leading cause of death for young people,” with more than 6,600 deaths in the United States each year, according to the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention. “A Focus on Youth Suicide Prevention has established a framework using QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer), a nationally used, evidence-based training program, to equip community gatekeepers with the tools to build or strengthen a suicide prevention safety net for youth,” said Carolyn Beauchamp, president and CEO of the Mental Health Association.
The grant in 2022 allowed the Mental Health Association to provide QPR training to 746 people working in youth-serving organizations.
“By expanding the training opportunity to additional gatekeepers and offering bilingual sessions, we widen the safety net of people who can recognize suicide risk and warning signs and offer help and support to young people in our community,” said Jaime Angelini, the association’s statewide director of suicide prevention, crisis response and special projects.
“During our training, we work to empower people to have the courage to start an uncomfortable conversation. Most of all, we remind people that suicide prevention is about offering hope.”
Organizations that serve youth which would like to participate in this teen suicide prevention program can contact Angelini by calling her at 609-576-9498 or emailing her at [email protected]
Training will be available to family members, educators, and other interested community members in both Spanish and English, according to a press release from the Mental Health Association.
Photo Courtesy of Mental Health Association in New Jersey