The Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) received an $800,000 emergency suicide prevention grant from the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) on July 20, 2020. AHCCCS was one of three Arizona awardees of the federal emergencies dollars. SAMHSA awarded the same grant amount to EMPACT-Suicide Prevention Center in Tempe and the Pasqua Yaqui Tribe in Southern Arizona. In total, these grants bring an additional $2.4 million in suicide prevention services to Arizona.
AHCCCS, in partnership with Arizona Complete Health, the southern Regional Behavioral Health Authority (RBHA); CODAC Health, Recovery & Wellness, Inc.; Community Bridges Inc. (CBI); and Emerge Center Against Domestic Abuse, will use the funds to bring together behavioral health and domestic violence services among those uninsured and underinsured individuals age 25 and older who live in Pima County. The program is a targeted effort with the goal of reaching those Southern Arizonans at higher risk of suicide. The grant, the largest suicide prevention grant AHCCCS has received, will fund an 18-month program overseen by a dedicated program director.
Providers will identify individuals in emergency room and psychiatric hospital environments, where they will be screened for risk of suicide and referred to behavioral health and/or domestic violence services as appropriate. Through these partnerships, AHCCCS aims to increase referrals of at risk individuals, engage county hospitals, and increase knowledge of suicide prevention through community based training. The program will be evaluated in part based on the number of unique individuals referred into care, individuals provided emergency housing, and individuals who complete suicide prevention training.
The 2020 Arizona Suicide Prevention State Plan is posted at azahcccs.gov/suicideprevention. SAMHSA has posted additional information about the grant and awardees.