Read the meeting notes, or view the slides or recording.
Thank you all for your continued engagement in the Coalition. 52 people attended the Vermont Suicide Prevention Coalition (VTSPC) meeting that was held virtually on April 8, 2021.
Melissa Farr, Program Specialist, Kirk Postlewaite, Senior Program Specialist, and JoEllen Tarallo, Executive Director, Center for Health and Learning, opened the meeting. Melissa opened the meeting and shared the purpose of the Coalition. We had a brief warmer focused on how coalition members support a culture of wellness.
Alison Krompf, Director of Quality and Accountability, DMH, provided an update on the current state of suicide prevention in Vermont. Alison shared information around the use of the COVID support website, which has been robust. Alison also shared information about statistics from the National Suicide Prevention helpline and the various ways in which COVID relief funds have been used to bolster suicide prevention in VT in 2021. Daisy Berbeco, Senior Policy Advisor, DMH, provided a legislative update of suicide prevention in Vermont. Daisy informed the group that S69 and S213 did not move forward this year, but that ongoing efforts will continue on this front. Christina Thompson, Quality Management Coordinator, DMH, provided an update on grants for suicide prevention. The 988-planning grant for the national suicide prevention lifeline are being developed to help 988 go live as of 7/2022.
Stephanie Busch, Injury Prevention Manager, Vermont Department of Health, shared an update on the Suicide Prevention Grant awarded to VT from the CDC. This will be a public health model for increasing awareness around mental health/suicide prevention and will include many community-based interventions to promote peer-based services, create safe spaces and promote lethal means reduction education.
Tom Delaney, PhD, UVM College of Medicine, shared an infrastructure assessment update with the group. Tom defined infrastructure as a statewide framework for planning, implementation, evaluation, and sustainability that is essential for advancing this work. A new workforce survey performed in 2020 on indicated that there is still more work to be done on upstream/preventative work. Tom envisions a phase 2 to the survey which could include peer and family participants to create a more wholistic story of suicide preventions in Vermont.
JoEllen Tarallo, Executive Director of CHL and Director of VTSPC, facilitated an interactive exercise with the group to explore ideas around Upstream/Preventative care. Dana Kaplan, Executive Director of Outright Vermont, discussed the Importance of promoting inclusion to engage youth, families, schools, and systems to help change policy and ultimately experience of LGBTQ community in VT. Matt Wolf, Youth Voice Coordinator, VT Afterschool, explained the movement to promote Youth empowerment and youth voice across Vermont through work in the 3rd space, i.e.- any event or gathering outside of school and home settings.
Also, a couple reminders for members. A CSSRS Training for clinicians is being offered this spring. Members can also order our Help Resources to help promote suicide prevention across the state. Zero Suicide and Umatter® Webinars are being offered monthly through June, 2021. CHL will also be hosting the annual Suicide Prevention Symposium on August 4th, from 9:00am-4:00pm. This will be a virtual event again this year and promises to be a highly informative and interactive event.
The following organizations and groups were represented at the coalition meeting:
- UVM College of Medicine
- Department of Mental Health
- National Alliance on Mental Health VT
- Vermont Department of Health
- Department of Veterans Affairs
- Vermont Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health
- People with Lived Experience
- Private practice clinicians
- Department of Veterans Affairs
- Support and Services at Home
- PATHWAYS VT
- Center for Health and Learning
- Dartmouth College
- Orleans Southwest Supervisory Union
- Northern New England Poison Center
- United Ways of Vermont/211
- Vermont Afterschool
- Northwestern Counseling and Support Services
- Norwich University
- UVM VCHIP
- Community Health of Rutland
- Lamoille Family Center
- Northeast Kingdom Human Services
- Rutland Free Clinic
- Private clinicians