Community Health Network uses state training grant to help save lives

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Community Health Network uses state training grant to help save lives

INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 20, 2018) -- Employer training grants are beginning to have the kind of major impact that was envisioned when the program was rolled out last year as part of Gov. Eric Holcomb’s NextLevel Jobs initiative.

The grants are used by employers to train and reskill employees for high-demand jobs. But grants awarded to Indianapolis-based Community Health Network, Community Howard Regional Health in Kokomo and Lutheran Child and Family Services will be used to train workers in a critical skill that extends far beyond the workplace—helping to save lives through suicide prevention. 

The three each received a $50,000 grant ($150,000 total) to train or upskill a total of 65 employees in behavioral health evidence-based practices, including suicide prevention.

“In health care, so much of the focus is on medical assistants and certain occupations, where there’s a really big need in the acute hospital space,” said Judy Hasselkus, DWD’s program director, employer engagement and sector specialist for health care, agriculture and life sciences. “But Community does a lot more in behavioral health care. From the top down, they’re focused on behavioral health and suicide prevention.”

For instance, Community and WTHR-TV Channel 13 are partners in Have Hope, a multi-year public service effort to raise awareness about suicide in Indiana and to help more Hoosiers get the help they need.

The goal is to drive more Hoosiers to, an online resource offered by Community that provides information about how to start the conversation about suicide, testimonials, statistics and more. It also provides resources for users to connect with care, whether it be the national suicide hotline or Community behavioral health services locally.

“Critical to the success of Community’s suicide prevention efforts is ensuring proper training for our caregivers,” said Cathy Boggs, executive director for government and affiliate relations for Community’s behavioral health services. “The Employer Training Grants make such training possible, and we are confident it will have real, life-changing impact on Hoosiers across central Indiana.”

Programs benefitting suicide prevention receive even more attention in September, which is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Suicide annually takes the lives of more than 41,000 people nationally, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.  

Employer training grants are part of Indiana’s NextLevel Jobs initiative, which awards employers $5,000 per employee up to a maximum of $50,000 to train and retrain workers. NextLevel Jobs is part of Gov. Eric Holcomb’s Next Level Indiana agenda and was introduced in 2017.

The grants are administered through the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and available to help fill in-demand positions within six priority sectors: advanced manufacturing, building and construction, information technology and business services, health and life sciences, transportation and logistics, and agriculture. 


About the Indiana Department of Workforce Development
DWD serves the worker and the employer to ensure workplace success. DWD is committed to innovating and invigorating Indiana’s economic future by providing WorkOne Career Centers, Unemployment Insurance, Labor Market Information, Regional Workforce Strategies and Professional Training. Through these services, DWD is able to develop a premier workforce that enables Indiana employers to flourish and entices businesses from outside our state to relocate to Indiana.

For additional information, contact:
Scott Olson,
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