The University of Alabama and the Alabama Department of Mental Health are partnering to prevent suicide in the state.
UA’s VitAL program and ADMH have received support from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to implement Project Zero Suicide in Alabama.
The Zero Suicide framework is designed to proactively address suicide by emphasizing prevention and early intervention within healthcare facilities. VitAL will leverage this model to ensure that multi-level, evidence-based suicide prevention practices are integrated into clinical care. The primary focus will be on adults, with a particular emphasis on rural and underserved areas.
VitAL will implement the Zero Suicide framework across patient care. This includes emergency departments and outpatient clinics, making the initiative accessible to a wide range of individuals seeking healthcare services.
“Suicide Prevention must be communicated in many ways, in many settings,” said , ADMH Commissioner Kimberly Boswell. “Focused education within healthcare facilities and training for clinicians expands the information, resources and care presented to the people we serve. The top priority of ADMH is saving lives. This grant extends the opportunity to save even more.”
Project Zero Suicide in Alabama is a five-year project. VitAL estimates the project will positively impact about 75,000 individuals. While not everyone may require further intervention, VitAL will offer early intervention and crisis care to those identified as at-risk.
“This grant provides the state a unique opportunity to expand suicide prevention capacity in Alabama. We believe that through ongoing collaborative efforts, we can continue to support and facilitate meaningful change and reduce the burden of suicide on our communities,” said Dr. David L. Albright, UA distinguished professor and VitAL principal investigator.
The initiative will also include extensive training opportunities for behavioral health clinicians across the state, focusing on suicide prevention best practices. VitAL will extend its reach to high-suicide-rate counties, including Cullman, Chambers, Chilton, Clay, Conecuh, Covington, Henry, Marion and Winston. Train-the-trainer sessions will be conducted to ensure knowledge and skills are disseminated widely.
“VitAL’s commitment to saving lives and promoting mental health remains unwavering,” Albright said.
For more information about this initiative and upcoming training opportunities, please visit the VitAL website.