On September 1, 2020, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), Oregon Department of Education (ODE), Lines for Life, and local suicide prevention champions are collaborating to launch the Suicide Prevention and Wellness Program for school districts. The program is part of the new statewide School Safety and Prevention System. The suicide prevention program is intended to help school districts implement and sustain evidence-based suicide prevention policies and plans that focus on connecting young people to help, equipping people to respond to crisis, and empowering young people to help each other.
The new program is the result of two bills passed in 2019, Adi’s Act (Senate Bill 52) and the Student Success Act (Section 36). They required each school district in Oregon to have a suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention response policy and plan, and established a statewide School Safety and Prevention System.
ODE is responsible for coordinating implementation of the legislation. OHA and Lines for Life work to support this critical piece of the statewide School Safety and Prevention System. The Suicide Prevention and Wellness Program for school districts established by Adi’s Act includes four regional suicide prevention positions and mini grants and training opportunities for school districts.
For the 2020 through 2021 school year, Lines for Life will hire four regional school suicide prevention and wellness coordinators across the state who will be supported by the School Suicide Prevention and Wellness Program manager at Lines for Life. The four new positions will collaborate with local suicide prevention coordinators, school districts, educational service districts (ESDs), and other local organizations to help connect the dots in suicide prevention policy to best serve students and their families. Each coordinator will be cross-trained in behavioral safety assessments, suicide prevention, equity and racial diversity, and social emotional learning. Each coordinator will be assigned to and located in one region: the Willamette Valley, Central Oregon, Southwest Oregon, and Eastern Oregon.
In addition, in partnership with OHA, Lines for Life is offering district-level grants of up to $1,500. Approved grants can be applied to costs of staff and student training and curriculum, as well as other costs associated with implementation of school suicide prevention plans. Additional funding from OHA is available for school districts or local suicide prevention leaders to offer various trainings to students, staff, school counselors, parents, and other adults. The Big Six suicide prevention training initiative includes Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA), Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST), safeTALK, Question Persuade Refer (QPR), Sources of Strength, and Connect: Postvention.
Non-profit Lines for Life was founded in 1993 as the Oregon Partnership; it was rebranded in 2012. It provides referrals for addiction treatment, suicide prevention services, and a crisis hotline. The crisis hotline handles nearly 55,000 calls annually.
This was reported by Oregon Health Authority, Oregon Department of Education, and Lines for Life on September 1, 2020.
Contact information: Marc Siegel, Media Contact, Oregon Department of Education, 255 Capitol Street NE, Salem, Oregon 97310; 503-947-5650; Email: email@example.com; Website: https://www.oregon.gov/ode/pages/default.aspx
Contact information: Sarah Kelber, Media Contact, Oregon Health Authority, 500 Summer Street, NE, E-20, Salem, Oregon 97301-1097; 503-975-6633; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Website: https://www.oregon.gov/oha/Pages/Contact-Us.aspx
Contact information: Donna Harrell, Communications Director, Lines for Life, 5100 SW Macadam Avenue, Suite 400, Portland, Oregon 97239; 971-244-1369; Email: email@example.com; Website: https://www.linesforlife.org/staff/