KY Emergency Response for Suicide Prevention (C4955): FY25 MHBG ARPA - Epidemiology (TPES) (CL2)

Grants and Contracts Details


Background Over the past 10 years, drug overdoses and suicides have been increasing in the United States. The suicide rate and drug overdose rates in Kentucky have followed similar trends to—while remaining slightly higher than—the national rates. In 2020, the leading cause of death for individuals aged 18 to 45 was accidental overdose, followed by suicide. Furthermore, the stressors related to Covid-19 exacerbated the co-occurring risk factors of both overdose and suicide. The relationship between suicide and drug overdose may be difficult to define; however, there are risk factors associated with both, with suicidality and a history of overdose being a risk factor of each. Understanding the risk and protective factors that put a Kentucky resident at risk of increased substance use and related behavioral health issues, including suicide, are a vital component of primary prevention efforts. Identifying risk and protective factors for behavioral health issues allows limited resources to be targeted toward the demographic and geographic locations where needed most. Understanding when consequences of behavioral health issues – such as overdose and suicide – have the same risk and protective factors creates opportunities for stronger prevention efforts long before an individual reaches the crisis point. The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the need for better understanding of these interrelated situations. The Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities (DBHDID), Division of Behavioral Health (DBH), Prevention and Promotion Branch has been charged with identifying the risk and protective factors of substance use and suicide in order to implement appropriate upstream, primary prevention efforts. Additionally, DBHDID has received federal grant funds to supplement efforts to address these needs. In an effort to best address service needs for these target populations, University of Kentucky, Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center (UK KIPRC) will provide data collection and analysis focused on the intersection of mental health issues and substance use, to better understand Kentucky’s current behavioral health situation and support the translation of that information into primary prevention and treatment practices. The objective of this project is to identify a links between substance use disorders and suicide, self- harm, and mental health disorders among residents in Kentucky.
Effective start/end date7/1/246/30/26


  • KY Cabinet for Health and Family Services


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