Lawrence awarded $25,000 grant for suicide prevention training

Amy Sandquist

Recently, Lawrence was awarded
a $25,000 grant from the J.J.
Keller Foundation for suicide prevention
training. Kathleen Fuchs,
director of counseling services and
adjunct associate professor of psychology,
explained that the J.J.
Keller Foundation is a “local company
that often supports health
and mental health efforts” in the
Appleton community.
The J.J. Keller Foundation
grant comes only a few months
after Lawrence received a $300,000
grant from the U.S. Department
of Health and Human Services
Substance Abuse and Mental
Health Services Administration.
While this SAMHSA grant continues
to support Lawrence and
other local higher education institutions,
Fuchs explained that the
J.J. Keller Foundation grant will
allow Lawrence to extend support
to other local organizations.
“Our SAMHSA grant supports
our on campus efforts and can
be shared with our local higher
education partners like Fox Valley
Technical College and UW-Fox,”
Fuchs elaborated. “With the Keller
grant, we can now broaden our
reach into the community to share
suicide prevention efforts with
many organizations that reach
youth.”
Keller noted that with the J.J.
Keller Foundation grant, Lawrence
will be able to contribute educational
and training materials
about suicide prevention with local
school districts and other nonprofit
agencies like Harmony Café
and the Boys and Girls Club.
Lawrence plans to invite these
community organizations to seminars
and training workshops,
facilitated with the J.J. Keller
Foundation grant money. The seminars
and training workshops will
provide participants with skills
designed to pique awareness about
emotional suffering.
Fuchs described the primary
goal of both the SAMHSA and the
J.J. Keller Foundation grants, noting
that the training provided with
the grant money seeks to “make it
easier for individuals to acknowledge
emotional distress and ask
for help and support.”
Specifically, Fuchs noted that
the training will prepare “caring
people … to approach others about
whom they are concerned and assist them in connecting with needed assistance and support.” Fuchs emphasized the importance of removing the “stigma about mental health” and extending support throughout the Fox Valley community.
The suicide prevention training grants are only the beginning of Lawrence’s larger effort to more effectively educate its community members about suicide prevention programs. Fuchs explained that the “initial states of these grants are focused on planning and laying the groundwork for more widespread activities and initiatives.”
The SAMHSA and the recently awarded J.J. Keller Foundation grants will allow Lawrence to spend the next three years creating a more conscientious and educated community about suicide prevention.
Fuchs hopes that as Lawrence students, faculty and staff “become familiar with this suicide prevention initiative,” they “will find a way to feel that they are part of our efforts to reinforce the caring nature of the Lawrence community.

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