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Rural Health Information Hub

Program Funding for Suicide Prevention Programs

Financial support is critical for starting and sustaining a rural suicide prevention program. State, federal, or private foundation grants can support a program but are oftentimes limited. It can also be competitive to apply for grants. For this reason, it is important to be strategic when seeking and applying for grant opportunities. Rural program planners should explore rural-specific funding opportunities and partnerships with other organizations that have a demonstrated track record in successfully obtaining grants. These organizations can often help provide grant writers and fill gaps in experience required by the specific funding opportunity.

Agencies and organizations that often provide funding opportunities in suicide prevention include the Health Research and Services Administration (HRSA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). The Rural Community Toolbox's Funding for Suicide and Suicide Prevention and RHIhub's Funding By Topic: Suicide and Suicide Prevention identify potential funding opportunities for rural communities.

Rural suicide prevention programs may seek other related funding, including funding aimed at opioid prevention, substance use prevention, and mental health. Programs can apply for a new funding opportunity, or they can contact partners and state agencies to leverage existing behavioral health funds (for example, opioid prevention, certified community behavioral health clinics (CCBHCs), and other community-based mental health programs).

Funders tend to be most interested in supporting programs that will have an impact, which is one reason evaluation is important. A thorough evaluation can demonstrate whether the program achieves its goals, and makes a difference for those it serves.

Other sources of funding and financial support for rural suicide prevention programs include: individual donations, partnerships with local organizations, hosting fundraising events, and gifts-in-kind from local businesses, such as discounts or providing services, facility space, or staff time pro bono.

By having financial support from multiple sources (also referred to as funding diversification), programs have higher security and are more likely to be sustainable long term.

Resources to Learn More
Provides a centralized location for grant seekers to find and apply for federal funding opportunities, and for federal agencies to post funding opportunities. Includes a variety of resources and tools to support grant seeking, grant writing, grant reporting, and other related topics.
Organization: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services