Governor’s suicide prevention fund awards $247,500 to 9 organizations, including 1 in Southern Utah

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ST. GEORGE — The governor’s suicide prevention fund has awarded $247,500 in grants to nine organizations working to prevent suicide in Utah, including one based in Washington County.

“In a small way, these grants represent the hope we would like to share with those among us who feel hopeless. We trust these funds will be a boost of support to those agencies that are on the front lines of responding to mental health crises and spreading hope,” Gov. Gary Herbert said in a press release issued by the Office of the Governor.

Utah Suicide Prevention and Crisis Services Administrator Kim Myers said the organizations who received grants are working to administer data-driven solutions to support individuals and families.

“The breadth and scope of these projects are an important reminder of what suicide prevention is all about: Promoting meaningful lives through overall health and wellness, social relationships and connections, healthy and safe communities, and tools to weather life’s challenges,” Myers said in the press release.

Grants of $30,000 were awarded to Davis Behavioral Health, Encircle, HOPE4UTAH, National Center for Veterans Studies, Utah Pride Center, The Family Place and Utah Navajo Health System. In Southern Utah, the Reach4Hope Suicide Prevention Coalition in Washington County was awarded a $7,500 grant.

Funding for these grants comes from donations from Intermountain Healthcare, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, individual tax form donations and increased support from the Utah State Legislature. Funds contributed to the suicide prevention fund this year are eligible for a match from the Utah State Legislature thanks to 2019’s HB 393.

The suicide prevention fund was created via a bill in the 2018 Legislature. The Utah Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health established a grant application and review process for these funds, which are ultimately awarded by the governor. These funds are aimed at reducing the prevalence of suicidal death, thoughts or ideations and supporting crisis interventions when necessary.

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