Project Number 2U79SM057396-04 Caring About Lives in Maine
Maine Youth Suicide Prevention Program,
Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Health and Human Services

Augusta, ME  


The Caring About Lives in Maine project supports a strategic expansion of key priorities included in the Maine Suicide Prevention Program Plan.  Funds are used to: 1) implement suicide prevention and early intervention strategies; 2) provide training and assistance to increase the capacity of schools and youth-serving organizations to identify youth at risk and link them to culturally competent helping resources; 3) assist colleges in learning about suicide prevention protocol development; and 4) continue collaboration to pilot the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) model of web-based outreach to high risk college students.

Community “Referral Networks” that identify and assist youth at risk for suicide will be strengthened or created between 11 high schools and community organizations including crisis services, substance abuse treatment and child and family behavioral health services.  The selected high schools will implement the Maine Lifelines Program, a school-based suicide prevention program.  Evaluation focuses on efficacy and sustainability of two key promising practices: full-day Gatekeeper Training and the Maine Lifelines Program. 

Training and resources is provided to key groups in direct contact with youth in a variety of settings including those working with youth in behavioral health, child welfare and foster care.  The project will collaborate to adapt training programs with Native Americans and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). We will also partner with the Veterans Administration Suicide Prevention Program and other programs serving high risk youth in a variety of settings.  Efforts include innovative initiatives such as work in health literacy, working with youth in transition and development of materials for families of youth in the criminal justice system.

Additional objectives include enhancement of the MSPP Steering Committee to broaden leadership in suicide prevention and integration of a sustainable suicide prevention component within state organizations.  Data gathered will increase understanding of youth suicide in Maine.

Program Director:
Cheryl DiCara
Maine Injury Prevention Program and
Maine Suicide Prevention Program
11 State House Station
Key Bank Plaza, 286 Water Street, 5th Floor
Augusta, ME 04333
Phone: (207) 287-5362
Fax:     (207) 287-7213

CAL ME Project Director:
Joanne De Campos
Medical Care Development, Inc.
11 Parkwood Drive
Augusta, Maine 04330
Phone: (207) 622-7566 x 202
Fax: (207) 622-3616

Lead Evaluator:
Mary Madden
Center for Research and Evaluation
College of Education and Human Development
University of Maine
224 Merrill Hall
Orono, Maine
Phone: 207-581-2414

Caring About Lives in Maine Project Update – Spring 2010

  • Caring About Lives in Maine (CAL ME) Projectis a renewal of a three year federal grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) received by the Maine Suicide Prevention Program (MSPP).  MSPP is led by the Maine CDC, Maine DHHS.  A major focus of the project is to build on collaborations and linkages to enhance the capacity of 11 high school communities and their service providers to provide a culturally competent and sustainable system of prevention, intervention, postvention, early identification and referral for families and youth throughout the state.  Other initiatives of the project include collaborations with:  Keeping Maine’s Children Connected; NAMI Maine; the Penobscot Nation Prevention Coalition; Wabanaki Mental Health Center; the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP); University of Maine; University of Southern Maine and the Veterans Administration Suicide Prevention Coordinator.  Ongoing training for key groups in direct contact with youth continues.  Efforts also include encouragement of safe and respectful school climates, work in health literacy and broadening state leadership in suicide prevention.  Grant activities started in the fall of 2008 and will continue through 2011.  Components have been built into activities to aid in sustainability after grant funding ends. 


  • Training
    • Over 400 individuals attended full day Gatekeeper Trainings to date.  Training participants include school teachers, school staff, community members, foster care staff, and referral network agency staff members.
  • High Schools
    • 11 high schools received grant funding to implement Maine Lifelines suicide prevention program
    • Suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention protocols are in place for grant schools
    • Lifelines student lessons are being delivered in mandatory health class
  • Colleges
    • Support of web-based outreach to high risk college students
    • Protocol training provided
  • Native Americans
    • Convened a work group to gain input on Gatekeeper Training to modify for cultural relevance.
    • Gatekeeper Training to be offered for Penobscot Nation Prevention Coalition, Wabanaki Mental Health Center staff, and other community members in Spring of 2010
  • Systems Enhancements
    • Linking grant schools with mental health service provider through community referral networks
    • Improving communications between providers and school systems
  • Capacity Building
    • Broadening of Advisory Council membership
    • Improving cultural competency and health literacy of program materials
  • Data Collection, Research, and Evaluation
    • Presentations at the national grantees meetings (2009 & 2010)
    • Maine Suicide Surveillance Report
    • Maine Violent Death Reporting System (MeVDRS) – collecting youth suicide data
    • Expansion of data collection in Maine schools
    • Lifelines now listed in the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP)