Tenn. groups awarded suicide prevention grants

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Mental health programs in Tennessee are getting an influx of funds for suicide prevention.

According to a release from the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS), $500,000 was awarded by the Tennessee General Assembly to mental health organizations in Tennessee.

An East Tennessee organization, Mental Health Association of East Tennessee, was one of the awardees. They said they hope to expand Mental Health 101 to serve 20,000 students at 50-60 previously under-served schools and boost a social media campaign with their funds.

“The need for suicide prevention services knows no difference between urban and rural, wealthy or distressed counties. With this funding, we have the opportunity to truly have a statewide impact,” said Morenike Murphy, LPC-MHSP, TDMHSAS Director of Crisis Services and Suicide Prevention.

Two other groups awarded funds were Cornerstone and Tennessee Voices for Children.

The three groups were chosen as a part of a competitive process, the release said.

If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts or other mental health emergencies, Tennessee's statewide crisis line is available 24/7 to talk at 855-CRISIS-1. People can also call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

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