Twin Cities PBS Announces 10 'Facing Suicide' Grants to Help Prevent Suicide in Communities Across the Country
CPB Funds $165,000 in Awards to PBS Stations
February 15, 2022
SAINT PAUL, Minnesota, February 15, 2022 – Twin Cities PBS (TPT) has awarded a total of $165,000 in grants to 10 PBS stations to create suicide prevention initiatives in their communities in collaboration with the national PBS broadcast of "Facing Suicide." The grants, funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), are part of a national Facing Suicide initiative that will harness the power of public media to destigmatize the topic of suicide and equip friends and family to take appropriate action when someone close to them may be at risk. Major funding for this project comes from CPB and PBS.
Formerly known as The Race to Solve Suicide, the initiative includes the primetime PBS documentary "Facing Suicide," airing later this year, with aligned resources that public television stations nationwide will employ to engage and support their communities around this critical public health topic. At the local level, grant recipients will share suicide prevention practices and will amplify the documentary’s messaging around awareness, help, and hope. Informing various aspects of the project are leading suicide prevention organizations including the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention (Action Alliance), the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), the Jed Foundation (JED), and Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE).
"Sadly, suicide is a leading cause of death in the United States, with more than 130 Americans dying every day from suicide," said Patricia Harrison, CPB president and CEO. "We know one of the best ways to prevent suicide is to promote awareness about this issue in our local communities and equip friends and family to take appropriate action. These grants from CPB will help local public media stations collaborate with partners on essential suicide prevention initiatives in their communities."
Grant-funded station initiatives include localized broadcast and online content as well as local events, screenings and expert panel discussions, all produced in collaboration with leading suicide awareness organizations. Grantees will participate in virtual trainings and be supported by a community of colleagues to prepare for the highly sensitive and critical work around this top public health issue. All PBS stations will have access to the Facing Suicide resources, as well as the trainings, and will be encouraged to share them with their communities on broadcast and digital platforms.
“We were impressed by the thoughtful, creative and sensitive proposals we received from stations all over the nation,” said Michael Rosenfeld, TPT’s Vice President, National Productions. “Understanding suicide, and how to help the people who may be at risk, has never been more important. With generous support from CPB, we believe this project can make a difference.”
In addition to the series of grants made to other public media stations, TPT will partner with the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) Minnesota for its local engagement efforts. TPT will also host a series of workshops with film screenings and discussions to raise awareness of the Facing Suicide prevention resources. TPT will also create broadcast and digital content to be featured on its public affairs series "Almanac." The project may scale to translate resources in Spanish, Hmong and Somali on TPT NOW, TPT’s 24-hour TV channel reaching diverse communities with health and safety information.
Facing Suicide Grant recipients are:
KEET-TV – Eureka, CA
KEET will produce "All Four Corners of the County," a 30-minute documentary featuring stories from rural Humboldt County. The documentary will spotlight the everyday work that activists, educators, parents, and community leaders are doing to foster suicide prevention in the region and discuss how to talk about the loss of people we love. KEET will also hold four screenings and discussions of the film.
WNET – New York, NY
The WNET Group will use the Facing Suicide project to focus on suicide and suicide prevention among currently and formerly incarcerated individuals, with emphasis on their ties to family and community. The station will work with experts and partners to create short videos on the topic and host a town hall highlighting the stories and issues explored in the video. The topic will also be featured in WNET’s ongoing local news programming.
WOSU Public Media – Columbus, OH
WOSU Public Media will craft a two-level initiative that brings the "Facing Suicide" documentary program front and center within central Ohio. The station will develop virtual/live training modules to educate more than 500 journalists and journalism students on suicide and suicide prevention reporting. In addition, it will create interstitials focused on assisting rural Ohioans, to be shared via broadcast and social media.
Iowa PBS – Johnston, IA
Iowa PBS will produce a 30-minute special on Iowan families impacted by suicide, focused on those who've lost young people (ages 15-24); report on the state of behavioral health in the agriculture industry for the national program "Market to Market"; produce digital content about a young Iowan affected by suicide for the station’s existing digital series "In Their Words"; create a series of interstitials; and host community workshops.
South Carolina ETV – Columbia, SC
Continuing ETV’s successful and Emmy-winning endeavors on health, the station will host four statewide listening sessions with education and healthcare experts; host four statewide town halls; screen "Facing Suicide" with expert panel discussion; facilitate youth-generated content supplemented by workshops; plan a social media campaign with prominent South Carolinians; and create workshops for families in rural areas.
WVIA – Pittston, PA
WVIA, in continuance of their multi-year initiative Mind Over Matter, will produce a 4- to 6-minute video on teen suicide, and will produce prevention-focused resources that will be distributed online and on social media. They will also create a teacher guide and lesson plans (for grades 5-12), as well as host four community conversation events that include screening "Facing Suicide," an expert panel discussion, and audience participation.
WGCU – Fort Myers, FL
WGCU will host events on elder suicide prevention in Southwest Florida, create interstitials for TV, FM, and online, and host two episodes of "Gulf Coast Life," their daily FM program, on elder suicide prevention.
WNMU-TV – Marquette, MI
WNMU will host a screening of "Facing Suicide" and an expert panel discussion with community members, students, and faculty of Northern Michigan University. They will also produce one episode of their local show "Media Meet" with representatives from Upper Peninsula Communities that Care, and three What's U.P. PSAs. Special attention will be placed on involving rural counties and indigenous communities throughout the Upper Peninsula.
Nebraska Public Media – Lincoln, NE
Nebraska Public Media will host a hybrid "Facing Suicide" screening and discussion event open to inperson attendance and accessible online to a statewide audience. The event will feature four or five in-person expert panelists, share excerpts from "Facing Suicide," and include locally produced content featuring Nebraskans who have been impacted by suicide. The event will focus on awareness, education, and training, offering a "state of the state" on Nebraska prevention, access, and concepts. An interactive, online chat during the event will share experiences and resources.
PBS North Carolina – Durham, NC
PBS North Carolina will host "Facing Suicide" screenings followed by in-person/virtual post-viewing discussions with an expert panel. Emphasis will be placed on young adults around the University of North Carolina System campuses, including HMSI (Historically Minority Serving Institutions) communities, with plans including the creation of a dedicated webpage for Facing Suicide with links to resources.
Twin Cities PBS (TPT)’s mission is to enrich lives and strengthen our community through the power of media. Established 64 years ago, TPT now operates as a public service media organization that harnesses a range of media tools to serve citizens in new ways — with multiple broadcast channels, online teaching resources, educational outreach and community engagement activities reaching more than 2 million people each month. Over its history, TPT has been recognized for its innovation and creativity with numerous awards, including Peabody Awards and national and regional Emmy® Awards. Find more information at tpt.org.
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For more information, please contact: Jennifer Bondy, Impact Coordinator: email@example.com.
If you or someone you know are in crisis or experiencing thoughts of suicide, text the Crisis Text Line (text HELLO to 741741) or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273 TALK (8255). Both services are free and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week