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October 12, 2023

Maine Behavioral Healthcare awarded $2M toward suicide prevention

Maine Behavioral Healthcare has been awarded a five-year, $2 million grant to help implement a new effort to reduce suicide.

The funding will be used to launch the project Life Worth Living to reduce suicide "ideation," suicide attempts and deaths due to suicide among adults in Maine. The effort is expected to serve approximately 12,500 individuals per year.

The grant is from the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.

So far in 2023 there have been 5,754 suicidal emergency room incidents, which is lower than last year, when hospitals had 11,476, the agency said. 

Courtesy / MaineHealth
Dr. Linda Durst

“There is no doubt that this grant will help save lives,” said Dr. Linda Durst, MBH chief medical officer and chair of the department of psychiatry at Maine Medical Center. “Suicide ranks higher as a cause of death for virtually every age group in our target area when compared to the rest of the country making this an urgent public health matter.”

The grant will also help expand Maine Behavioral Healthcare’s program Zero Health. The program focuses on error reduction, training, communication and education — the national Zero Suicide initiative in 2020 with the belief that suicide is preventable.

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