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By Richard Asinof
WASHINGTON – Rhode Island will receive $2.69 million to help prevent youth suicide and improve the mental and behavioral health care that children, teens and young adults receive, Sen. Jack Reed announced on Sept. 20.
The federal grants were made available through the new health care reform law.
Nationally, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the country, claiming more than twice as many lives each year as homicides. According to a 2011 study by the R.I. Department of Health, suicide is the third-leading cause of death among Rhode Islanders ages 15 to 24.
“Many young people who commit suicide have a treatable mental illness, but they don't get the help they need,” Reed said. “These federal funds will help provide critical resources for prevention and outreach efforts in Rhode Island to help reach at-risk youth before it is too late.”
The R.I. Department for Children, Youth, and Family Services will receive $1 million to expand mental and behavioral health services to children with serious emotional disturbances;
The R.I. Department of Health’s Youth Suicide Prevention program will receive $480,000 to help schools and community-based organizations prevent youth suicide.
The Family Service of Rhode Island Children’s Treatment and Recovery Center will receive $400,000 to help treat children who are victims of abuse and neglect, as well as exposed to violence through coordinated trauma treatment networks.
In addition, Brown University was awarded $813,114 to study outpatient care protocols for high risk suicidal teens.