Screening for Mental Health, (SMH) a pioneer of large-scale mental health screening for the public, and the University of Maryland School of Social Work, announced today that its online screening initiative for depression and suicide in the state of Michigan has screened more than 1,750 people since its start in 2016. The program is supported by a four-year grant funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Jodi Jacobson Frey, PhD, LCSW-C, CEAP, associate professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore was awarded the CDC funded grant and has been working with Screening for Mental Health and others throughout the country to engage working-aged (25-64 years) Michigan men in online screening and help-seeking to reduce suicidal ideation and behavior. Suicide in the state of Michigan is one of the top 10 causes of death. Nationwide, there’s been a 43 percent increase in the rate of suicide among men ages 45-64. Suicide prevention campaigns, such as Healthy Men Michigan, have shown to have promise in helping adults in general, but few target working-aged men to increase knowledge about crisis and mental health counseling services.
‘Healthy Men Michigan’ is part of a statewide initiative to build partnerships to promote the campaign and to drive men to the website (www.healthymenmichigan.org) where they can complete a free online screening and potentially have an opportunity to be invited to participate in a voluntary, and paid, research study. Local Michigan businesses are a major thrust of the effort, helping to provide HealthyMenMichigan.org as a resource to workers to promote good mental health practices and overall employee well being.
Currently, the HealthyMenMichigan.org initiative has partnered with more than 200 business groups including numerous mental health and suicide prevention organizations, as well as colleges and universities; community-based organizations; hospitals and medical centers; faith-based organizations; social, recreational and civic clubs; sports venues; and hunting and boating clubs. among others.
“We are very fortunate to be funded by the CDC in this research study focused on the gaps in suicide prevention research,” said Norm Gorin, president and chief executive officer of SMH. “In addition, the University of Maryland’s School of Social Work researchers have been paramount in testing our online screening tool for depression and suicide. This initiative sprang out of our first screening program used in Massachusetts for men of all ages called ‘MassMen.org’, which has proven to be very successful as a resource for men seeking information about mental health.”
Results of the Michigan study will inform researchers about innovative online programs designed to engage working-aged men in suicide help-seeking behavior and findings will be published to help medical researchers make better decisions about the program's future usage.
For those interested in becoming a partner in working to reduce suicide rates in Michigan through the campaign, please contact Courtney Miner at firstname.lastname@example.org
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