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ND HOPES Suicide Prevention Initiative

Visitors surveying the badlands at dawn
Implementing a multi-tiered approach to suicide prevention in western North Dakota
  • Client
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Dates
    September 2022 - Ongoing

Problem

Rural North Dakota is disproportionately impacted by suicide.

North Dakota is a vastly rural state with a steadily increasing suicide rate. Between 2000 and 2018, the suicide rate rose 84 percent, the second highest state increase. Since then, the number of suicide incidents reported in clinics, hospitals, and emergency departments increased by one-third. 

Nearly half of North Dakota’s population of 779,094 lives in rural areas where the rate of suicide is significantly greater (20.6/100,000 in rural areas, 13.5/100,000 in urban areas). In addition to a large rural population, the state is composed of approximately 55,000 veterans and 20,000 individuals who identify as LGBTQIA2S+, two populations that are disproportionately affected by suicide and would benefit from a comprehensive, tailored approach to suicide prevention.

Solution

UND and NORC are implementing ND HOPES, a comprehensive approach to suicide prevention.

The University of North Dakota (UND) and NORC were awarded a five-year cooperative agreement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to implement a comprehensive approach to suicide prevention. Called North Dakota Healthcare, Opportunity, Prevention, and Education in Suicide prevention, or ND HOPES, the initiative provides services, resources, and supports to residents of a 21-county region in western North Dakota, with targeted programs and services for rural communities, veterans, and LGBTQIA2S+ youth. ND HOPES helps schools, hospitals, clinics, and community-based organizations in the western part of the state implement evidence-based practices; raises public awareness via targeted communications; and continually adjusts its approach based on routine monitoring of surveillance data.

Result

ND Hopes will provide a sustainable suicide prevention infrastructure.

Using a multi-tiered approach to suicide prevention driven by programmatic gaps and routine surveillance, ND HOPES aims to create a sustainable suicide prevention infrastructure and reduce suicide morbidity and mortality by 10% among western North Dakota residents as well as among rural residents, veterans, and LGBTQIA2S+ youth residing in the region.

Project Leads

“NORC’s suicide prevention team has a history of supporting states on the most challenging issues. We undertook ND HOPES to address North Dakota’s increasing suicide rate. In partnership with the University of North Dakota, ND HOPES brings critical resources into a 21-county frontier region in Western North Dakota to prevent suicide among rural communities, veterans, and LGBTQIA2S+ youth.”

Senior Research Scientist

“NORC’s suicide prevention team has a history of supporting states on the most challenging issues. We undertook ND HOPES to address North Dakota’s increasing suicide rate. In partnership with the University of North Dakota, ND HOPES brings critical resources into a 21-county frontier region in Western North Dakota to prevent suicide among rural communities, veterans, and LGBTQIA2S+ youth.”

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