VitAL Receives Grant for Suicide Prevention Efforts

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama Department of Mental Health (ADMH) and VitAL are the recipients of a significant grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). This grant, known as the Project Zero Suicide in Alabama, represents a substantial investment in suicide prevention efforts in the state of Alabama.

The Zero Suicide framework is designed to proactively address suicide by emphasizing prevention and early intervention within healthcare facilities. VitAL will leverage this model to ensure that multi-level, evidence-based suicide prevention practices are integrated into clinical care. The primary focus will be on individuals aged 18 and older, with a particular emphasis on rural and underserved areas. VitAL will implement the Zero Suicide framework across various levels of patient care. This includes emergency departments and outpatient clinics, making the initiative accessible to a wide range of individuals seeking healthcare services.

“Suicide Prevention must be communicated in many ways, in many settings. Focused education within healthcare facilities and training for clinicians expands the information, resources and care presented to the people we serve. The top priority of ADMH is saving lives. This grant extends the opportunity to save even more,” said Commissioner Kimberly Boswell, Alabama Department of Mental Health.

Project Zero Suicide in Alabama is a five-year project. VitAL estimates that the project will positively impact approximately 75,000 individuals. While not everyone may require further intervention, VitAL will offer early intervention and crisis care to those identified as at-risk.

Dr. David L. Albright, University Distinguished Professor and VitAL principal investigator, expressed, “This grant provides the state a unique opportunity to expand suicide prevention capacity in Alabama. We believe that through ongoing collaborative efforts, we can continue to support and facilitate meaningful change and reduce the burden of suicide on our communities.”

The initiative will also include extensive training opportunities for behavioral health clinicians across the state, focusing on suicide prevention best practices. VitAL will extend its reach to high suicide rate counties, including Cullman, Chambers, Chilton, Clay, Conecuh, Covington, Henry,Marion, and Winston. Train-the-trainer sessions will be conducted to ensure that knowledge and skills are disseminated widely.

Albright said, “VitAL’s commitment to saving lives and promoting mental health remains unwavering.”

For more information about this initiative and upcoming training opportunities, please visit the VitAL website.

For media inquiries, please contact Macy Dye Craddock at or 407-416-3341.