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$650K in suicide prevention funding awarded to Michigan organizations

Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center in Calumet is getting $75,000.
Suicide prevention and awareness ribbon.
Suicide prevention and awareness ribbon.(WLUC)
Published: Dec. 3, 2020 at 3:11 PM EST
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DETROIT (WLUC) - Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and several partners today announced $650,000 in funding to be allocated to nine Michigan organizations committed to suicide prevention programming in their communities.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan joined forces with the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation, the Michigan Health Endowment Fund, the Children’s Foundation, and the Ethel and James Flinn Foundation to establish the Suicide Prevention Support for Health Care Clinics Working with Michigan’s Health-Disparate Populations initiative.

The program offers grants to develop evidence-based and sustainable programming that will decrease the rate of suicide attempts and deaths by identifying children or adults who may be at risk; as well as addressing their needs for appropriate medical, social and behavioral services.

Over 7,000 Michiganders died due to suicide from 2014 to 2018. Evidence-based preventative programs are needed to stop individuals from committing suicide and those who have suicidal ideations. Work that focused on populations experiencing health disparities due to income, age, gender identity and ethnic and racial characteristics were encouraged to apply for grant funding.

“Suicide is a complex problem that requires innovative, evidence-based solutions,” said Lynda Rossi, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan executive vice president of Government, Strategy and Public Affairs. “The organizations receiving funding are well-positioned to take on this important work in their respective communities. We’re confident these efforts will help save lives throughout the state of Michigan and will create sustainable changes to support improved behavioral health care for some of our most vulnerable populations.”

Dana Chesla-Hughes, program manager at the Michigan Health Endowment Fund, said, “The Health Fund is excited to support a range of organizations providing direct care for Michiganders who are at an increased risk of death by suicide. The diverse set of projects in this initiative reflect the diverse set of problems our state faces in the fight against suicide and we are pleased to be supporting the unique solutions our communities will find.”

“The Children’s Foundation is proud to be part of this important group that is working collectively to prevent suicide and save lives in the state of Michigan,” stated Lawrence J. Burns, president and CEO of The Children’s Foundation.

Andrea M. Cole, executive director and CEO of the Ethel and James Flinn Foundation, said, “The Flinn Foundation has always supported the advancement of evidence-based solutions to prevention and treatment. With suicide rates increasing, it is even more critical that we address the disparities in effective programs and services available in some of our most underserved communities.”

Organizations receiving grant funding include:

  • Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS), Dearborn
  • Black Family Development, Inc., Detroit
  • Child and Family Charities, Lansing
  • Corktown, Detroit
  • Institute for Population Health, Detroit
  • Integrated Services of Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo
  • Mid-Michigan Health Foundation, Gladwin, Clare, Ogemaw and Gratiot counties
  • Southwest Counseling Solutions, Detroit
  • Upper Great Lakes (UGL) Family Health Center, Calumet ($75,000)

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit mutual insurance company, is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BCBSM provides health benefits to more than 4.7 million members residing in Michigan in addition to employees of Michigan-headquartered companies residing outside the state. The company has been committed to delivering affordable health care products through a broad variety of plans for businesses, individuals and seniors for 80 years.

Beyond health care coverage, BCBSM supports impactful community initiatives and provides leadership in improving health care. For more information, visit bcbsm.com and MiBluesPerspectives.com.

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