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Press Release  State public health officials award $1.9 million for statewide suicide prevention services

Funding to support 19 community organizations across the state until June 2035
For immediate release:
  • Department of Public Health

Media Contact   for State public health officials award $1.9 million for statewide suicide prevention services

Katheleen Conti, Assistant Director of Media Relations

Boston — The Department of Public Health (DPH) today announced $1.9 million in annual state funding over the next 11 years awarded to 19 community organizations to provide suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention services across the state.

Now entering its tenth year, this funding allocation is part of DPH’s Suicide Prevention Program, which seeks to reduce the incidence of suicidal ideation, behavior, and deaths in Massachusetts through investments in community organizations that provide suicide prevention services that are accessible, culturally responsive, and trauma informed. Funded organizations will provide services to people at increased risk of suicidality, communities impacted by suicide, and underserved and historically marginalized populations.

“Every day, but especially as we honor Mental Health Awareness Month, we work to reduce stigma associated with mental health challenges and suicidal thoughts,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Kate Walsh. “Through initiatives like suicide prevention services funding and the Roadmap for Behavioral Health Reform, it is our hope that anyone who struggles with their mental health know where to access services, and that it is OK to talk to someone and seek help.”

“Our primary goal with this funding and our ongoing work is to reduce the incidence of suicidal ideation and behavior, and stop these preventable deaths across the Commonwealth,” said Public Health Commissioner Robbie Goldstein, MD, PhD. “Too many people are struggling with behavioral health issues that can contribute to an increased risk of suicide for some. Suicide is preventable, and DPH has made it a priority to provide funding and reduce barriers to evidence-based interventions so residents can access the help they need when and where they need it.”

Suicidal ideation, suicide attempts, and suicide deaths among Massachusetts residents are a significant and preventable public health issue. For every suicide death among adults ages 18 and older nationwide, an estimated 38 people attempt suicide, 75 people make a suicide plan, and 265 people seriously consider suicide. In 2021, there were 596 suicide deaths in Massachusetts, a rate of 8.5 per 100,000, with 22 percent of suicides resulting from firearms, according to data from the Massachusetts Violent Death Reporting System.

This latest round of funding represents an increase of approximately $600,000 over previous investments. Since 2014, more than $13 million has been awarded through the Suicide Prevention Program to community organizations across the state.

Using a public health framework, the Suicide Prevention Services procurement will support a comprehensive array of programs and services, including increasing awareness, training for professionals and caregivers, support groups, local outreach to suicide survivors, and safer suicide care across the state.

This funding builds on additional investments made by DPH’s Suicide Prevention Program, including the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline network, workforce development initiatives, data surveillance, coalition building, and partnerships with other state agencies that serve veterans, older adults, and those with mental illness. The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline network is available 24/7, 365 days a year via phone, chat, and text to provide free and confidential emotional support to those experiencing emotional distress and/or thoughts of suicide. Information about the Massachusetts 988 Lifeline network is available at www.mass.gov/988

Funding for the 19 community organizations will begin July 1, 2024, and continue until June 30, 2035, through state appropriations. Priority was given to organizations in which a majority of volunteers, staff, and leadership represent the community they serve; those serving areas with suicide rates above the statewide average; and those with expertise in trauma-informed, culturally responsive, and accessible suicide prevention services for youths and adults.

Suicide Prevention Services procurement recipients:

  • BAGLY, Boston
  • Bay State Community Services, Quincy
  • Berkshire Medical Center, Pittsfield
  • Dee Dee’s Cry, Boston
  • Duffy Health Center, Hyannis
  • Fairwinds, Nantucket
  • Families for Depression Awareness, Waltham
  • Family Servies of Merrimack Valley, Lawrence
  • Fenway Health, Boston
  • Jewish Family and Children’s Services, Waltham
  • LUK Crisis Center, Fitchburg
  • Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, Mashpee
  • Riverside, Dedham
  • Samaritans on Cape Cod and the Islands, Mashpee
  • Tapestry Health, Springfield
  • The Transformation Center, Boston
  • United Way of TriCounty, Framingham
  • Vietnamese American Civic Association, Boston
  • Western Massachusetts Training Consortium, Holyoke


Media Contact   for State public health officials award $1.9 million for statewide suicide prevention services

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