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July 20. 2014 8:31PM

Derry council approves grant for suicide prevention

DERRY — Town councilors have given their approval for the Derry Health Department to apply for a grant of up to $10,000 for suicide prevention.

The grant is provided through the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, through its relationship with a private donor. It will not impact the town financially, according to officials.

During the 2014 fiscal year, there were four suicides in Derry, said Pam Santa Fe, a substance misuse coordinator for the Greater Derry Regional Public Health Network. Santa Fe appeared before councilors at their Tuesday night meeting.

Councilor Joshua Bourdon thanked Santa Fe for bringing the grant to councilors.

“I just want to say with substance abuse at historic levels and online bullying an all-time epidemic, I think this is an excellent grant, and thank you for bringing it forward,” Bourdon said.

The funds would help build upon existing community suicide prevention efforts and support training programs and enhancement of the middle school curriculum, Santa Fe said.

“The town will benefit from a suicide prevention initiative,” she said, adding that the training programs provide another layer of mental health resources for Derry’s young people.

Councilors voted 6-0 to allow the health department to apply for the grant.

Councilors have also voted 6-0 to allow the health department to apply for a grant of up to $2,000 to help strengthen the delivery of substance abuse prevention, treatment and recovery services in Derry. The funds would also help provide for the professional development of the town’s substance misuse coordinator.

The grant is provided through the New Hampshire Center for Excellence, Santa Fe said. It also will not impact the town’s operating budget, she said.

hmcgee@newstote.com


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