A County organization has received a three year grant to focus on suicide prevention efforts.

The Aroostook Mental Health Center (AMHC) recently received positive remarks by the Centers for Disease Control for its leadership in Suicide Prevention. AMHC is one of several organizations in five states that received the grant. Because one suicide is one too many, the initiative is called “Zero Suicide.”

The mental health center has put into place a series of questions that its direct care staff are now required to ask clients. These questions are helping in a number of ways:

  • Staff are more intentional about the issue of suicide among those individuals whom AMHC serves;
  • The questions asked help reduce the stigma associated with suicide;
  • Staff are more comfortable assessing for risk of suicide;
  • AMHC is able to collect data specific to suicide and learn from that data to help its clientele.

Michelle Ferris, Director of Emergency Services, says she is pleased to have the Maine CDC and Federal CDC recognize AMHC's work in suicide prevention and is proud of the AMHC staff n Aroostook, Washington and Hancock Counties.

For more information on “Zero Suicide,” visit www.zerosuicide.com.