Hope Network receives $1.4M grant for suicide prevention services

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Phil Weaver Courtesy Hope Network

Hope Network will be able to offer suicide prevention services across the state thanks to a new grant.

The Grand Rapids-based statewide nonprofit provider of health care and life services said Monday that it received a $1.4 million grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration that will allow it to offer suicide prevention services to 150,000 people in Michigan.

The five-year grant will allow Hope Network to serve about 30,000 individuals each year through its Zero Suicide initiative. Zero Suicide is a comprehensive approach to suicide care that aims to reduce the risk of suicide for all individuals seen in health care systems. Hope Network’s work will reach across 28 Michigan counties focusing on people who are age 25 or older with particular attention paid to vulnerable groups including veterans, the unemployed, previously incarcerated citizens and the homeless.

“This grant is a game-changer for Hope Network in allowing us to offer this significant service across the state,” said Phil Weaver, Hope Network president and CEO. “Zero Suicide represents a commitment to patient safety, which is the most fundamental responsibility of health care, and to the safety and support of staff who treat and support suicidal patients.”

According to the Michigan Suicide Prevention Commission, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in Michigan. In 2020, nearly 1,300 suicides were reported, which means, on average, someone dies by suicide every six hours across the state. Suicide rates have increased across Michigan and the U.S. in the past decade, and research has found about half of people who die by suicide have a mental health diagnosis.

Hope Network will institute the Zero Suicide tenets for employees across all its service lines in clinical and nonclinical programs. Screening and referral processes will be set up to identify people at risk of suicide and to develop a treatment plan. The program also includes training for professionals in the mental health care, primary care and emergency room workforces on suicide prevention and other mental health practices. The Zero Suicide initiative will include insight from people who have attempted suicide or who have lost a family member to suicide.

Hope Network aims to reduce the number of suicide deaths in people 25 years of age and older who are served by Hope Network by 50% in the first year of the program.

“This grant and the Zero Suicide initiative is a logical next step for our commitment to providing complete mental health services and will enable us to help those who are most vulnerable,” Weaver said.

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