Wolfson Children’s Hospital awarded $100,000 grant as part of Preventing Youth Suicide National Collaborative

Funding to help develop data-driven approach to identify, provide advanced behavioral health care for at-risk teens and adolescents.

Jacksonville, FL -

Wolfson Children’s Hospital has received $100,000 grant as part of the Preventing Youth Suicide: A Cardinal Health Foundation National Collaborative. The program, which is an initiative from Cardinal Health, the Children’s Hospital Association (CHA) and the Zero Suicide Institute (ZSI) at the Education Development Center (EDC), helps hospitals better identify and care for youth at risk for suicide.

The Preventing Youth Suicide National Collaborative is working to develop a pediatric-specific, data-driven approach that will enable participating children’s hospitals and health systems to better track, share and implement best suicide prevention practices with each other. This program supports a system-wide transformation in suicide care at children’s hospitals and will help save children’s lives.

“We’re excited for this grant and appreciative to Cardinal Health, the Children’s Hospital Association and the Zero Suicide Institute at the Education Development Center for recognizing the importance of behavioral health services,” said Terrie Andrews, PhD, vice president of Baptist Behavioral Health. “Anytime we can intervene and stop death by suicide, it has a positive ripple effect on everyone around that child.”

The grant will also aid in training staff, furthering research and building on current Wolfson Children’s behavioral health services and initiatives such as On Our Sleeves, the Youth Mental Health First Aid training program and the continuation of embedding behavioral health care into primary care, Dr. Andrews said.

Additionally, a new 20-bed Behavioral Health and Wellness Unit is expected to open at Wolfson Children’s in spring 2024. The new unit will join the 14-bed Larry J. Freeman Behavioral Health Unit and eight-bed behavioral health pod located in the main Wolfson Children’s Emergency Center.

The new unit is funded, in part, by a $3 million gift from The PLAYERS Championship Village, Inc. and a $5 million appropriation from the state of Florida.

“Like much of the country, there continues to be a demand for pediatric behavioral health services in Northeast Florida. This collaborative grant will allow our team to continue providing critical, specialized care and support to patients and their families,” said Wolfson Children’s Hospital President Allegra C. Jaros, MBA. “We are grateful to Cardinal Health, the Children’s Hospital Association and the Zero Suicide Institute at the Education Development Center for this grant that will allow us to work with our partners to meet the needs of some of our most vulnerable patients.”

“Children’s hospitals and health systems work within their hospitals, outpatient clinics and emergency rooms and in partnership with their communities to improve the health of children and youth – including their mental, emotional and behavioral health,” said Amy Wimpey Knight, president of CHA. “With some 30 pediatric health care organizations now focused on building stronger care systems to recognize, intervene and treat children and youth at risk of suicide through the Preventing Youth Suicide Collaborative, we will save lives. We are grateful to these hospitals, their community partners and to Cardinal Health and the Zero Suicide Institute for their leadership and partnership with CHA. We are committed to sharing their work with children’s hospitals across the nation.”

“At Cardinal Health, we’re committed to investing in the mental wellbeing of not only our employees, but our communities as well,” said Jessie Cannon, vice president of Community Relations at Cardinal Health. “We’re proud to continue to support the work CHA and children’s hospitals are doing to reduce youth suicide. We’re confident this program will make a lasting impact in funded communities.”

To learn more about the collaborative, visit Preventing Youth Suicide National Collaborative.