VTSPC Coalition Meeting Recap- April 7, 2022

Thank you all for your continued engagement in the Coalition. 43 people attended the Vermont Suicide Prevention Coalition (VTSPC) meeting that was held virtually on September 9, 2021.

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

Thank you all for your continued engagement in the VT Suicide Prevention Coalition (VTSPC)  49 people attended the meeting. 

Welcome, Warm-up and Recognitions:

Kirk Postlewaite, Senior Program Specialist, Bekah Hughston, Training and Events Coordinator, Kate Morey, Program and Policy Specialist, and Clare LaFrance, Senior Program Specialist

Kirk shared the purpose of the Coalition and led a brief warmer focused on exploring how needs are being met by the Coalition.

Update on the current state of suicide prevention in Vermont, Alison Krompf, Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Mental Health (DMH): Krompf shared updates on the legislature looking at S.69 during this legislative session. While S.69 was not approved there is hope that funding for the expansion of Zero Suicide, hiring of a coordinator, and eldercare outreach may be included in other funding bills. Vermont accepted the Governor’s Challenge which means an increased focus on reducing suicide among Vermont’s veteran population.  

Update on the Suicide Prevention Grant awarded to VT from the CDC, Nick Nichols, Suicide Grant Coordinator, Vermont Department of Health (VDH)The main components of the CDC grant in the coming year are to field a revised partner survey and conduct a state-wide program inventory to get a census of suicide prevention training in VT. There is also going to be an increase in Gatekeeper training and a focus on special populations such as rural Vermonters, men, people with physical disabilities, and LGBTQ+.

Update on the monthly suicide data, Caitlin Quinn, Public Health Analyst, Suicide Prevention Epidemiology, Vermont Department of Health: There was a higher suicide incidence rate in the summer than the previous three-year average. As of the end of December, the number of suicide deaths this year is higher compared to previous years, but the difference is not statistically significant. 

Intentional Self-Poisoning Work Group, Tom Delaney, Ph.D., UVM College of Medicine, Jennifer Sabin, New Hampshire Dept. of Health and Human Services:  Given the alarms raised regarding youth mental health challenges Tom Delaney and Jennifer Sabin decided to collect data from emergency departments ED in New England as well as the New England Poison Center to look at the incidence of intentional self-poisoning in ED visits.  

The work has revealed that there is a rise in ED visits related to intentional self-poisoning and this is more prevalent among youth that identifies as women. They are looking for partners in the workgroup. 

Legislative Recap, Kate Morey, Program and Policy Specialist, Seaton Mcilroy Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America:  

Kate Morey spoke about legislative engagement day. There were 63 registered attendees representing a wide swath of stakeholders. Two members of the house health care committee were in attendance  R. Cordes and R. Page. R. Cordes spoke on the challenges of getting resources for mental health care.

Seaton Mcilroy updated the group about the progress of Senate Bill 30 which is now postponed until May. She also updated regarding Senate Bill 4 which relates to waiting periods. This bill was signed into law in March.

Symposium Feedback, Kirk Postlewaite, Senior Program Specialist: Participants were asked to share their ideas and input on the upcoming Symposium goals, theme, speakers, and any other information they felt like sharing. 

Suicide Data Linkage Project, Caitlin Quinn, Public Health Analyst, VDH discussed the plan for a deeper dive into Vermont’s data in order to better be able to identify people at risk for suicide and opportunities for intervention. Quinn garnered feedback from the audience on objectives for the feedback as well as data sources.

Trainings and Resources: Members and attendees were reminded that there are a number of Umatter training options available as well as CSSRS training from the Center for Health and Learning. Members were also alerted to the Men’s Shed project that is looking for participants. Pathways Vermont & Peer Workforce Development are offering training on Conversations About Suicide on June 21st. Alex Lehning, ED Vermont Cooperative for Practice Improvement & Innovation is looking for partners in an application for the GLS Campus grant.

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
  • People with Lived Experience
  • United Ways of Vermont/Vermont 211
  • NFI Vermont, Inc.
  • Sunshine Silver Lining
  • University of Vermont
  • MSK Attorneys
  • AFSP Vermont
  • Lamoille County Mental Health Services
  • Northeast Kingdom Youth Services
  • NH Department of Health and Human Services
  • Clara Martin Center
  • Pathways Vermont
  • Greater Rutland County Supervisory Union
  • Cold Hollow Family Practice
  • Vermont Cooperative for Practice Improvement & Innovation
  • Brattleboro Retreat
  • Howard Center
  • Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America
  • Youth in Transition
  • Northeastern Family Institute
  • Cathedral Square

Vermont Help Card

The VT Help Card is now available in four different formats including post card, poster, wallet card, and a card full of resources for survivors of suicide loss. Find out more…

Upcoming Coalition Meetings
  • September 8, 2022
  • December 8, 2022

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