DMHAS Prevention and Health Promotion Unit
Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Promotion Initiatives
Andrea Iger Duarte, Project Director, (860) 418-6801

CT Campus Suicide Prevention Initiative (CCSPI) (NEW)

This three-year (August 2011-July 2014), $1.4 million grant was awarded under the federal Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act, which created a suicide prevention grant program at the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration/Center for Mental Health Services in 2004. This program helps states, tribes, and colleges/universities to develop and implement youth, adolescent and college-age early intervention and prevention strategies to reduce suicide.

The goal of the CCSPI is to bring sustainable evidence-based, suicide prevention and mental health promotion policies, practices and programs to scale at institutions of higher education statewide for students up to age 24.  The project is a collaborative effort involving DMHAS and the CT Departments of Children and Families (DCF), Public Health, Higher Education, Veterans Affairs, and the CT State University System, CT Community College System, University of CT Health Center, True Colors, Multicultural Leadership Institute, United Way of CT, Wheeler Clinic and the Veterans Administration CT Healthcare System.

It is our expectation that this strong collaboration among state, community, and academic partners will ultimately result in successful suicide prevention and mental health promotion services that will be maintained over time and expanded throughout Connecticut.

<< Programmatic Information Under Construction >>
CT Youth Suicide Prevention Initiative (CYSPI)
June 2006-May 2010, the CT Departments of Mental Health and Addiction Services, Children and Families (DCF), Public Health, Education, and the Judicial Branch and the CT State University System (CSU) collaborated with the University of CT Health Center (UCHC) to develop, implement, evaluate, and sustain statewide youth suicide prevention and early intervention programs in conjunction with the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act. The following information is related to this period of the CYSPI.


  • Signed into law by president George W. Bush on October 21, 2004
  • Authorized $82 million for youth and young adult suicide prevention across the nation.
  • Requires active parental consent for participation in all program and evaluation activities.
Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act ReAuthorization of 2007 (S.1514/H.R.2511)

The Reauthorization was introduced on May 24, 2007 by Senators Chris Dodd (D-CT), Gordon H. Smith (R-OR), and Jack Reed (D-RI) in the Senate, and Representatives Bart Gordon (D-TN) Greg Walden (R-OR) and Danny Davis (D-IL) in the House. It would allow the five-year continuation and expansion of the original GLSMA and will expire at the end of fiscal year 2007 (September 30, 2007). The original purpose of the GLSMA is to support youth and young adult targeted suicide prevention efforts nationwide, and if passed, the Reauthorization would expand this purpose to suicide early intervention and prevention strategies for all ages, particularly for youth. The primary components of the Reauthorization are to: 1) increase funding to this cause; 2) expand the target population beyond youth to all ages; 3) provide grant support to states and tribes that have not yet received a grant the opportunity to obtain one; 4) allow states that have completed a grant, such as Connecticut, but need additional funds to continue their successful programs the opportunity to do so; 5) fund a matching-grant program to colleges and universities; and 6) reauthorize the Suicide Prevention Technical Assistance Center.

With the support of Governor Rell's Office, the DMHAS CYSPI sent letters to each of the CT Congressional Delegates. The Senators were thanked for their sponsorship of S.1514, and the Representatives were encouraged to support H.R.2511. Letters: Senators Dodd and Lieberman, Representatives Courtney, DeLauro, Larson, Murphy and Shays.                           

Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)/Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) Application, Spring 2005
  • State Agency Memorandum of Agreement: Departments of Public Health, Child & Families, Mental Health and Addiction Services, Social Services, Education and the Judicial Branch.
  • CT is among the second series of states to receive funding.
  • CT received $1.2 million over 3 years (2006-2009) to enhance existing suicide prevention efforts of the CYSAB, DCF, DPH, Office of Child Advocate, schools, and colleges.


Goal 1: To build upon CT’s existing youth suicide prevention infrastructure.

Goal 2: To implement selected youth suicide prevention/early intervention strategies.

Goal 3: To identify a permanent funding source to sustain the CT Suicide Prevention Initiative and support statewide replication/implementation. 

Goal 4: To conduct a high quality program evaluation through an academic partnership.

Advisory Board

The CT Youth Suicide Advisory Board (DCF)
In 1989, the Connecticut Youth Suicide Advisory Board (YSAB) was established via legislative mandate within the Department of Children and Families. The charge of the board is to increase public awareness of the existence of youth suicide, to promote means of prevention and to make recommendations to the Commissioner regarding the prevention of youth suicide.    
YSAB relationship with the CYSPI (DMHAS)
The YSAB acts as the advisory body to the CYSPI.  A sub-committee of the larger board was created to provide ongoing strategic and operational advice to accomplish the tasks related to the Initiative, and reports to the YSAB on a bi-monthly basis.  The sub-committee met on a monthly basis 2006-2008 and bi-monthly 2008-present.  Members include the Department of Children and Families, Office of Child Advocate, State Department of Education, National Alliance on Mental Illness-CT, CT Behavioral Health Network, Town of Enfield Youth Services, Wheeler Clinic/CT Clearinghouse, University of Connecticut Health Center, United Way of CT, and private citizens/parents.

Program Description

Through CT’s existing youth suicide prevention infrastructure, including the Youth Suicide Advisory Board (YSAB), the Connecticut Youth Suicide Prevention Initiative (CYSPI) will support:

  • High School Component:  The implementation of the Screening for Mental Health, Inc.'s Signs of Suicide (SOS) High School Program, an evidence-based practice, in CT high schools

  • College Component:  The implementation of the QPR Institute's Question, Persuade, Refer Gatekeeper Program and Screening for Mental Health, Inc.'s CollegeResponse Program in the CSU System;

  • Training Component:  The expansion of the existing Department of Children and Families (DCF)-sponsored training program in recognizing the signs and symptoms of suicidality and depression, and increase the capacity of the State’s clinical workforce to assess and manage suicide risk.  

  • Pilot Program:  The design and pilot implementation of a model program in Hartford, CT to increase the availability, accessibility, and linkages to mental health screening and treatment for youth by embedding services in the Quirk Middle School School-Based Health Center and the St.Francis Hospital and Medical Center Adolescent Clinic; and

  • Statewide Campaign:  A statewide youth suicide prevention education and awareness campaign.

  • CYSPI Matrix


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