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NC Department of Health and Human Services
N.C. DPH: Chronic Disease and Injury Section
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Injury and Violence Prevention Branch

Garrett Lee Smith Youth Suicide Prevention Program and "It's OK 2 ASK" Media Campaign

In September 2008, the North Carolina Division of Public Health's Injury and Violence Prevention Branch was awarded the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act Grant to address youth suicide prevention in the state. The purpose of this grant is to address the public health problem of youth suicide among 10-24 year olds in North Carolina. The grant consists of two main activities:

  1. Communications Campaign: Creation of the "It's OK 2 Ask" website and marketing campaign to promote the website. The website was developed based on the target audience's communication and information preferences. The objective of the campaign is to reduce the stigma of mental illness and encourage youth to seek help if they are feeling depressed or possibly considering suicide.
  2. Gate Keeper Trainings: Provides evidence-based suicide prevention/intervention curricula to individuals who interact with youth:
    • Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST): a skill-building intervention that prepares individuals to recognize the signs and symptoms of suicide and provide assistance.
    • safeTALK: a training that prepares anyone over the age of 15 to identify persons with thoughts of suicide and connect them to suicide first aid resources.
    • SAMSHA Suicide Prevention Publications and Resources: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) publications and related resources.
    • Lifelines Postvention: a best-practices manual specifically designed for middle and high school communities that educates everyone in the school community on how to successfully address and respond to not only suicide, but any type of traumatic death that profoundly affects the school population.

A list of people who are trained in these curricula can be found on the "Find Help Near You" page of the It's OK 2 ASK website.

Suicide Prevention Overview and Data