Vermont Suicide Prevention Coalition Meeting Held December 10th

Read the meeting notes, or view the slides or recording.

Thank you all for your continued engagement in the Coalition. Fifty people attended the Vermont Suicide Prevention Coalition (VTSPC) meeting that was held virtually on December 10, 2020.  

Melissa Farr, 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 what brings members to attend the meeting and be involved in the Coalition.

Alison Krompf, Director of Quality Assurance, DMH, provided an update on the current state of suicide prevention in Vermont, which also included how Coalition member feedback from Fall 2019 is incorporated into their work and ongoing initiatives. She also shared information about funding received in the form of COVID Relief Suicide Prevention. Stephanie Busch, Injury Prevention Manager, Vermont Department of Health, shared an update on the Suicide Prevention Grant awarded to VT from the CDC.  VDH plans to work with DMH, the Coalition and other stakeholders to implement and evaluate a comprehensive public health approach to suicide prevention, with attention to vulnerable populations disproportionately impacted. There was also discussion about impacted populations (Older and Elderly, LGBTQ, Indigenous, BIPOC) and questions about how Vermont collects this data. Also, CHL is collaborating with multiple community partners to develop and implement a series on cultural considerations. 

Peer support in Vermont: Malaika Puffer, Peer Support Manager at HCRS and PWLE, shared her impactful story and experience with Systems of Care in Vermont and offered a number of strategies that could better support those seeking help. We also shared lessons learned about peer recovery from planning the Symposium and work that CHL is doing to respond. We will continue to invite peer support organizations to join us at these meetings moving forward and talk about their work and share resources and challenges. The importance of Gatekeeper training for all Peer Support Workers was also noted.

Also, a couple reminders for members.  Zero Suicide and Umatter® Webinars are being offered monthly through June, 2021. The dates will be released soon. CHL will also be rolling out 2021 training dates for Umatter® Suicide Prevention Programs.

A Steering Committee for the  Vermont Suicide Prevention Symposium 2021 is forming. Please contact Melissa to contribute.


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
  • BAART
  • Community Health of Rutland
  • Lamoille Family Center
  • Northeast Kingdom Human Services
  • Rutland Free Clinic
  • Private clinicians

The Need Help? card

Click on the image, or go here to download a copy to print. Posters will be available soon and cards can be requested in large quantity print by emailing info@healthandlearning.org

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