Sociologist Gets Grant to Help Youth Struggling with Mental Health Issues

Youth suicide is a major problem in the United States. And now a sociologist at Indiana University has received a $1.2 million grant to combat this crucial issue and conduct research on mental health. Bloomington social scientist Anna Mueller was awarded this grant from the National Institutes For Health. This grant funding will help Mueller to continue with her work on schools and youth suicide.

“These trends are completely alarming, unprecedented, and tragic,” Mueller said. “The reality is, suicidal children are showing up in school counselors’ offices. Schools have to be prepared; there’s no choice.”

GrantWatch has a category for mental health grants on its website, as well as one for youth and one for children. There are currently grants available for U.S. public and private schools, LEAs, and charter school management companies to create mental health programs. Funding is to ensure children receive mental health services during and after the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Some facts about Youth Mental Health in the United States

Youth suicide has risen significantly over the last several decades. In fact, according to the Centers For Disease Control, youth suicide is the second leading cause of death among adolescents ages 15 to 19. But mental health, in general, saw dramatic shifts for youth, especially during the pandemic. Loneliness and isolation have caused an increase in people struggling with anxiety and depression.

Some other incredibly alarming statistics:

  • Suicide rates for youth ages 10 to 19 increased 56 percent between 2007 and 2016.
  • For girls ages 10 to 14, the suicide rate is four times greater than it was 20 years ago.

Here’s what this project will focus on specifically:

The goal of this research is to find sustainable, actionable strategies for suicide prevention. Mueller and her team hope to be able to present these findings and strategies to schools to help them deal with this issue in the short and long term. This research has involved two Colorado public schools, and the team taking the time to have conversations with kids about their mental health and struggles.

Science doesn’t get it right in this case,” she said. “What we know about how to prevent suicide in schools is far too limited and far too hard for schools to maintain effectiveness over time. We need to identify effective ways for schools to prevent suicide and respond to kids in crisis

Muller also spent time talking with students whose friends had survived suicide attempts, and in meetings with teachers and administrators to gain these findings. Her team, previously sidelined by the pandemic is back in the field. And their work could make a difference, not just in Colorado, but for school-aged youth all over the country.

GrantWatch has similar grants available to U.S. career investigators for mental health research projects. Projects should advance the understanding, treatment, and awareness of substance use disorders, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.

GrantNews Notes

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