In 2015 the GLS grant from SAMHSA ended after 3 years of successful activity. In 2016 SAMHSA asked ASPARC and our partners to re-apply to SAMHSA for a 5 year extension of the GLS program through the Alabama Department of Public Health. The application was approved and funded so we could continue our QPR gatekeeper training and awareness programs. At this writing ASPARC is entering the 3rd year of the GLS grant. Our official catchment area is Central Alabama but we have provided QPR training all over the state. In 2018 ASPARC partnered with the Alabama Department of Mental Health (ADMH) to provide QPR training in regional mental health centers throughout Alabama. We revised and expanded our QPR presentation to provide more about the causes and consequences of suicidal behaviors because many mental health center trainees were experienced counselors and social workers.
At each center interested community members were invited by the ADMH to share in the training. This successful endeavor led to more requests for training and awareness such that 2 new certified QPR trainers and the old-timers have been very busy. In 2018 ASPARC also began a partnership with the SAM Foundation of Ft. Payne, Al. The Sam Foundation was set up to provide suicide prevention programs including QPR, ASIST and others to communities in North Alabama. Their outreach activities have been very successful and ASPARC is collaborating with the Foundation and other interested organizations on development of an umbrella program for the entire state. This program would coordinate a variety of suicide prevention efforts and keep all participating groups in an informational and mutual support network. A statewide summit will be held at the University of Alabama on February 21, 2020 to promote the network.
ASPARC has grown to the point that there is a need to evaluate and adapt our leadership and operational structures to keep pace with changes. We expect to have this done by mid-year 2020.