What is RIYSPP?
The RI Youth Suicide Prevention Project (RIYSPP) is implementing evidence-based suicide prevention education programs in selected public schools and community-based organizations that serve adolescents and their families. The project provides a safety net for at risk youth by instituting screening, identification, and referral protocols, training gatekeepers, and providing a media campaign about who is at risk and how to respond.
The proposed project will focus on adolescents and young adults living in Rhode Island’s “core” cities. These cities are characterized by high rates of children living in poverty (15% or more), large minority populations, and other risk factors such as an over-representation of youth involved with juvenile justice and child welfare systems, higher rates of child abuse, neglect and domestic violence, higher rates of witnessing domestic violence, higher rates of incarcerated parents, and higher rates of homelessness. The cities are Providence, Pawtucket, Central Falls, Woonsocket, Newport, and West Warwick.
The Rhode Island Department of Health (HEALTH) is the lead agency for this project. Safe Rhode Island, HEALTH’s Violence and Injury Prevention Program, which led the creation of A Suicide Prevention Framework For Rhode Islanders Ages 15-24 and has been the state lead for suicide prevention planning for the past eight years, oversees the planning and implementation of project activities.HEALTH is conducting a community-wide media campaign to educate the public on who is at risk for suicide and to decrease the stigma associated with seeking mental health services will be provided to reinforce messages communicated in education and training initiatives.
Rhode Island Student Assistance Services (RISAS) is providing gatekeeper training to parents, peers, school staff, and staff of youth serving organizations. Schools and other youth serving organizations will incorporate suicide prevention into their screening, identification and supportive services for youth, develop agency-wide suicide prevention protocols, and provide referrals to supportive services in schools and communities.