The Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) Office of Public Health (OPH) Bureau of Family Health (BFH) will serve as a convener and connector of a multi-sectoral suicide prevention partnership, to leverage resources, expand the reach of services to our target populations, promote evidence-based strategies, and ensure a comprehensive approach to suicide prevention. BFH is the singular, qualified department within OPH concentrating on injury and violence reduction strategies. Through its mortality surveillance and injury and violence prevention efforts, including the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS), the Core State Violence and Injury Prevention Program (Core SVIPP) and Emergency Department Surveillance of Non-Fatal Suicide Related Outcomes (ED-SNSRO), BFH elevates the impact of suicide on Louisiana families. From 1999-2018, Louisiana has seen a 39% increase in suicides.1 The Louisiana age-adjusted suicide rate was 15.1 per 100,000 in 2018, surpassing the national rate of 14.2 per 100,000.1 This Comprehensive Suicide Prevention funding package is an opportunity for Louisiana to better understand and address the impact of suicide on our communities. Targeted Populations (youth and veterans): In the 2017 Louisiana Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), 17.8% of surveyed high school students seriously considered attempting suicide and 16.8% attempted suicide, compared to 7.4% nationally. In 2018, Louisiana’s suicide rate for youth 10-24 years of age was 11.3 per 100,000, ranking 29th in the country and above the national rate of 10.7.1 This funding opportunity will be used to initially target youth specifically in LDH Region 4 (Acadia, Evangeline, Iberia, Lafayette, St. Landry, St. Martin and Vermilion parishes) where the rate of suicide amongst youth under 25 is higher than the state rate. Partners include local school districts and school-based health programs, the Department of Education, the Office of Behavioral Health, healthcare organi
zations, and community-based organizations working to implement gatekeeper training, universal screening, care navigation, and explore increased capacity for telehealth options for behavioral health care.
In 2017, Louisiana was home to over 284,000 veterans. Louisiana’s veteran suicide rate of 32.5 per 100,000 surpasses the national veteran suicide rate (31 per 100,000). In 2017, almost 70% of veterans who died by suicide used a firearm.6 For this opportunity BFH will work with the VA, the state Office of Behavioral Health, the National Guard, Tulane and Louisiana State Universities, the Baton Rouge-based National Suicidology Training Center, and veterans service organizations to bridge services for our most at-risk veterans and service members and utilize the population health approaches laid out in the 2019 National Veterans Suicide Prevention Annual Report as well as the President’s Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End the National Tragedy of Suicide (PREVENTS). Strategies include gatekeeper training, safety planning, establishing a peer support network for the state, and exploration of increased capacity for telehealth options.
BFH’s capacity, history and recognition as the State public health leader and collaborative partner in mortality and injury surveillance, its established infrastructure for surveillance, analytics and translation of data to action and communications, strong relationships with many national, state and local partners, expertise in project implementation and evaluation, management of multimillion dollar federal grant budgets, and its commitment of leadership to addressing risk and protective factors contributing to suicide lay the solid foundation for developing a comprehensive public health approach to suicide prevention.