Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2017, $498,585)
The primary aim of OVC's FY 2017 Vision 21 Integrated Services for Victims Program: Increasing Access to Mental Health Services for Victims of Crime (Vision 21 ISV Program) is to bridge the divide between crime victims, victim services providers, and mental health services providers so that communities are able to create a seamless network of services to assist crime victims to recover, heal, and thrive. The Vision 21 ISV Program includes five purpose areas. This project is funded under Purpose Area Purpose Area 1: Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper Training for Crime Victim Advocates. The funded project will increase the capacity of crime victim advocates to identify, refer, and support crime victims' access to emergency/crisis mental health services to help prevent suicide among this vulnerable population.
Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC) is a nonprofit organization has operated the federally-funded National Suicide Prevention Resource Center, and has served as the Executive Secretariat for the Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention. EDC has provided training and technical assistance on suicide prevention to thousands of community-based and systems-based gatekeepers, including: police officers; emergency room staff and other medical professionals; school and university counselors; tribal leaders; crisis hotline volunteers; and sexual assault and domestic violence advocates. EDC also has subject matter expertise in developing suicide prevention and intervention strategies for populations that may be at greater risk for suicide, including American Indians and Alaska Natives, as well as runaway and homeless youth, refugees, and individuals who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.
Under the guidance of a blue ribbon panel of subject matter experts on the intersection of victimology and suicidality, EDC will use this funding to: (1) develop a specialized gatekeeper training curriculum for crime victim advocates; (2) develop a train-the-trainer curriculum and deliver it by conducting six (6) regional training conferences where community-based and systems-based advocates will be trained on how to deliver the gatekeeper training curriculum; and (3) provide ongoing guidance and support to individuals who have completed a regional training conference as they deliver the training to other advocates in their local community by creating an online community of practice.