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St. Luke's receives $1.5 million from AFSP for research

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention hoping to further mental health research
Posted at 5:14 PM, Oct 09, 2023

BOISE, Idaho — St. Luke's Health System received a $1,500,00 grant from The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) to further research in suicide prevention and intervention.

The grant helps fund a three-year project called the Suicide Prevention Interventions to Guide Follow-up Care Trial (SPRING) in partnership with the Idaho Crisis and Suicide Hotline and the University of Washington. The study intends to provide evidence to determine the best way to support patients at home to prevent suicide.

"We are honored to be leading another large suicide prevention research study, especially as we have seen mental health needs escalating in both quantity and complexity in the communities we serve," said Dr. Jim Souza, St. Luke's chief physician executive.

The grant also furthers AFSP's mission of supporting people struggling with mental health problems as they continue to be a growing issue in our state.

“Idaho is actually fifth, leading in the entire nation for deaths by suicide,” said Jenny Parkhurst, AFSP Idaho Board Chair.

This study follows two previous suicide prevention and mental health studies. This study will look at two versions of suicide prevention text messages and intervention.

"We truly believe that delivering the best version of Caring Contacts, in partnership with 988, may be a way to substantially reduce the number of suicide deaths in the U.S. We hear from our patients all the time about how meaningful these texts are," said Dr. Anna Ridin, applied research scientist in the applied research division for St. Luke's Health System.