News Releases

February 06, 2012

Vermont Youth Suicide Prevention Platform 2012 Launched - UMatter Campaign Recognized by National Best Practices Registry

The Vermont Youth Suicide Prevention Coalition and the Center for Health & Learning today presented the Vermont Youth Suicide Prevention Platform 2012, a guide for future suicide prevention efforts in the state. The full report is available at:

“One of the consequences of surviving a suicide is grief so profound that it unifies all efforts to prevent such loss in the future,” said JoEllen Tarallo-Falk, EdD, executive director of the Center for Health & Learning. “This Platform is the result of such a unified effort to prevent the death by suicide of nearly 100 Vermonters on average each year – including nine youth or young adults.”

The new platform, expanded and updated from the 2004 Vermont Suicide Prevention Platform, is the product of a coalition of 26 state organizations and interested individuals. It contains guiding principles, goals and objectives, actions and resources based on the latest research and evidence of success in suicide prevention.

The UMatter Youth Suicide Prevention program developed by the Center for Health and Learning has just been accepted into the national Best Practices Registry for Suicide Prevention. The Umatter public information campaign includes print, radio and social media geared toward cultivating community and professional “gatekeepers” prepared to respond to risk and warning signs. Also developed in Vermont, the website is designed to reach youth, to promote help-seeking behavior and build resiliency. A UMatter companion site for adult helpers provides information and resources about risk factors, warning signs and what to do to help a young person in a mental health crisis.

VT 2-1-1 provides 24-hour phone service by trained responders for suicidal response and referral to local mental health services. Dial 2-1-1 for help.


Vermont Youth Suicide Prevention Coalition

Agency of Human Services – Mental Health Department, Health Department, Corrections Department; American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Vermont Chapter; Associated General Contractors of Vermont; Association of Student Assistance Professionals of Vermont; Education Department; Fletcher Allen Health Care; Howard Center Child Youth & Family Services; National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Vermont; Outright Vermont; St. Johnsbury School; Tri-Town Youth Services; University of Vermont – Center for Health & Wellbeing, College of Medicine, Vermont Child Health Improvement Program (VCHIP), Psychology Department; U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs; United Ways of Vermont 2-1-1; Vermont Youth in Transition; Vermont School Crisis Planning Team; VMH Memorial Foundation, Inc., Vermont School Crisis Planning Team; Vermont Youth in Transition; Washington County Mental Health.

Center for Health & Learning

The Center for Health & Learning, located in Brattleboro, has been the lead agency designated by the Agency of Human Services to manage the Vermont Statewide Youth Suicide Prevention Project funded through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Working in close partnership with the Department of Mental Health, UVM Child Health Improvement Program, United Way and other key partners, the Center developed the Umatter training and public information campaign as well as suicide prevention and post-vention protocols for seven professions, trained more than 500 professionals, worked with substance abuse prevention coalitions to conduct community wide interventions, and engaged more than 30 school supervisory union teams to develop local protocols and training.

The Vermont Suicide Prevention Resource and Training Center offers comprehensive resources for preventing suicide and promoting health, and will continue as a collaboration of organizations and individuals in the ongoing work of suicide prevention.

For more information: or

Source: Department of Health
Last Updated at: February 06, 2012 16:48:09