Children’s Hospital & Medical Center Receives National Grant Funding for Youth Suicide Prevention

Youth Mental Health

$100,000 awarded to support Children’s pediatric mental health care initiatives

OMAHA, Neb. – Children’s Hospital & Medical Center has been selected as one of 16 recipients nationwide for the Preventing Youth Suicide: A Cardinal Health Foundation National Collaborative grant. The collaborative is a partnership with Children’s Hospital Association, Cardinal Health Foundation and the Zero Suicide Institute (ZSI) at the Education Development Center (EDC).

Children’s was awarded $100,000 to implement a framework developed by ZSI, committing to a system-wide transformation to better care for children at risk of suicide. The program is the first national collaborative intended to develop a pediatric-specific approach to address the youth mental health crisis and improve suicide care in children’s hospitals and health systems using data-backed strategies to identify and care for youth at risk for suicide.

Youth across America are facing mental health challenges at alarming rates that have been heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic. National data demonstrates that one in five U.S. children report having experienced a mental health condition in a given year. In 2021 alone, children’s hospitals across the country reported a 45% increase in the number of self-injury and suicide cases in 5- to 17-year-olds compared to the same period in 2019 (Sound the Alarm For Kids, 2021).

“Children’s is committed to improving pediatric mental health care and taking action to save and improve young lives,” said Children’s President & CEO Chanda Chacón, MPH, FACHE. “We all carry a responsibility to prevent suicide, especially among our most vulnerable populations. We are honored to partner with this national collaborative to strengthen mental health resources and reduce youth suicides locally, regionally and nationally.”

Children’s will receive $50,000 annually over two years with the grant, which was awarded following a highly competitive selection process. Select Children’s team members will engage in a training intensive on the ZSI philosophy and framework, preparing them to enhance services, education and accountability for Children’s ongoing work in pediatric mental health.

The following 16 pediatric hospitals and health systems were awarded grants:

  • Phoenix Children’s (Arizona)
  • Children’s Health of Orange County (California)
  • UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital (California)
  • Valley Children’s Healthcare (California)
  • Children’s Hospital Colorado (Colorado)
  • Connecticut Children’s (Connecticut)
  • Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital (Connecticut)
  • Nicklaus Children’s Hospital (Florida)
  • C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital Michigan (Michigan)
  • Children’s Mercy Kansas City (Missouri)
  • St. Louis Children’s Hospital (Missouri)
  • Atrium Health Levine Children’s (North Carolina)
  • Children’s Hospital & Medical Center (Nebraska)
  • Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital (Tennessee)
  • Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital (Texas)
  • Seattle Children’s (Washington)

“CHA is proud to partner with Cardinal Health and the Zero Suicide Institute to help children’s hospitals improve care for children experiencing a mental health crisis,” said Amy Wimpey Knight, president of CHA. “Preventing Youth Suicide’s aim is to identify and treat children thinking about suicide who may otherwise slip through the cracks in our health care system. In short, this collaborative will help save lives.”

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