The Massachusetts Coalition for Suicide Prevention (MCSP) convened in 1999 to address suicide prevention. Concurrently, US Surgeon General David Satcher declared suicide a major public health problem, issued his ‘Call to Action to Prevent Suicide’, and marshaled federal and national expertise and resources to develop the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. In 2002, the MCSP released the first State Plan for Suicide Prevention and obtained first –time legislative funds for suicide prevention. In September 2009, the Coalition launched the new ‘Massachusetts Strategic Plan for Suicide Prevention’ representing the diverse participation of over 500 Coalition members.
From its inception, the Coalition has been a public / private partnership, involving government agencies such as the Department of Public Health and Department of Mental Health working in partnership with community based agencies and interested individuals.
The MCSP is a broad-based inclusive alliance of suicide prevention advocates, including public and private agency representatives, policy makers, suicide survivors, mental health and public health consumers and providers and concerned citizens dedicated to working together to reduce the incidence of suicide and self-harm in the Commonwealth.
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With Coalition advocacy, since FY 2002 the Massachusetts Legislature has allocated more than $28 million for suicide prevention through line-item 4513-1026.
The MCSP led development of The Massachusetts Strategic Plan for Suicide Prevention, released in 2009, updating and expanding a previous State Plan issued in 2002. The plan was revised in 2015 to align with the National Strategy.
Funds from line-item 4513-1026 have supported suicide prevention services targeting veterans, older adults, college and university students, youth and young adults, mid-life adults, GLB youth, and transgendered persons.
The Department of Public Health has published annual data on suicide and self-inflicted injuries, and provided targeted data to communities.
Training efforts have included clinical and gatekeeper training for nearly 31,000 advocates, teachers, clinicians, substance abuse staff, elder advocates, human resource and youth service organizations.
Collaborating with the Departments of Public Health and Mental Health, the Coalition has co-sponsored fourteen annual Massachusetts Suicide Prevention Conferences attracting hundreds of participants each year.
The MCSP has sponsored fifteen annual State House Suicide Prevention Awareness Events, honoring over 75 legislators, individuals and organizations with its ‘Leadership in Suicide Prevention Award’.
The Coalition has organized 10 regional suicide prevention coalitions to foster prevention at the regional and local levels.
Through line-item funding, the Department of Public Health has supported community-based suicide prevention and postvention response services.
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