13 Alberta organizations receive funding for youth suicide prevention
Thirteen youth-focused community programs across Alberta will receive $3 million over the next two years to provide mental health support for youth at higher risk of suicide, courtesy of the Youth Suicide Prevention (YSP) Grant Program from the provincial government.
The 13 organizations who successfully applied for grants will receive funds from around $100,000 to $300,000. This includes Camrose Open Door, Neutral Hills Learning & Community Connection Centre and Red Deer Native Friendship Society from the central region of the province, Lethbridge Family Services for the south region and YMCA of Northern Alberta for the north region.
From Edmonton, the Canadian Mental Health Association and Free Play for Kids are also receiving grants. The Miywasin Friendship Centre from Medicine Hat, St. Albert Food Bank and Community Village Society from Sturgeon County, the University of Calgary and Gift Lake Metis Settlement completes the 13 organizations.
“The First Nations Health Consortium is honoured to be a grant recipient. We are eager to begin our Life Promotion – Strength in the Journey project and look forward to working with the First Nation youth and their communities in Treaty 6, 7 and 8,” Gordon Auger, the senior manager of support services of First Nations Health Consortium said in a press release.
The YSP Grant Program is part of Alberta’s action plan to reduce the rate of youth suicides and suicide attempts in the province. Their action plan uses evidence-informed actions that will “build community capacity, provide supports and services focused on recovery and growth.”
The grant is going to be used to fund programs, services and/or projects that follows the outlines of the plan and those who provide evidence-informed research for their initiatives. The organization’s plans should either “expand the capacity of existing initiatives to address identified suicide prevention gaps and community needs, or support the development and piloting of new, innovative initiatives to address identified suicide prevention gaps and community needs.”
“We are pleased to have received funding for the Skills for Safer Living program. This program is an effective intervention support and service, serving youth and their families or caregivers. It empowers youth with practical skills to promote their recovery and help them live meaningful lives while equipping caregivers with the knowledge and skills they need to support and enhance the process.” Mara Grunau, executive director of Centre for Suicide Prevention said in a press release.
The action plan called Building Strength, Inspiring Hope: A Provincial Action Plan for Youth Suicide Prevention 2019 to 2024 notes some groups of youth (under the age of 25) to be at increased risk of suicide. This includes Indigenous youth, sexual and gender diverse youth, youth experiencing homelessnes, youth in government care of transitioning out of care, youth wiht mental health and addiction challenges and recent immigrant and refugee youth.