Carolina’s “Our State, Our Wellbeing” program participants to feature community collaboration on suicide prevention at Statewide Summit

May 29, 2024

To build on local work in suicide prevention, community teams from 24 counties across North Carolina will host a day-long event in Chapel Hill on June 13 to share challenges faced, progress made, and plans for sustaining their work. Attendees from across the state will discover resources and build connections at the Statewide Summit on Suicide Prevention, held at the UNC Friday Center from 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. with a reception following from 5-6 p.m. 

Co-led by the UNC Suicide Prevention Institute (SPI), this second program of Carolina Across 100, “Our State, Our Wellbeing,” has been growing local impact through cross-sector collaboration since June 2023. 

“Breaking down barriers to help communities respond to growing mental health needs is essential to reducing suicide in our state,” said Dr. Patrick Sullivan, SPI Director. “There are opportunities to create change at the systems level, at the community level, and at the individual level.”

Nearly 1,500 lives are lost to suicide in North Carolina annually, a figure that has risen by 40% since 2004.  

“Carolina is proud to stand with people across North Carolina, offering expertise and support to address ongoing and increasing mental health challenges,” Interim Chancellor Lee H. Roberts said. “Through the ‘Our State, Our Wellbeing’ program, Carolina Across 100 is engaging local organizations to help meet the unique mental health needs in each community and prevent suicide.”

Attendees at the Summit will hear from national and state leaders from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Resources (NCDHHS), the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), and more. Presentations by “Our State, Our Wellbeing” team leaders will help others learn from local progress across the state.  

An afternoon Resource Expo will centralize experts and offerings to help attendees explore new ideas to grow the impact of their local work in suicide prevention.  

“Our state has a wealth of resources ready to support community action on suicide prevention, with plans to continue partnering to fill gaps,” said UNC School of Government professor and Lead Carolina Across 100 Coordinator, Anita Brown-Graham. “This Summit is all about bringing together leaders from across North Carolina to do more than any community could do on its own. It is how we plan to level up our efforts to meet staggering needs in North Carolina.” 

This event is open to the public as an invitation to learn more about how communities across North Carolina can replicate and amplify local impact. Registration closes on June 5 at 5 p.m. Find more information on the Carolina Across 100 event page:  

Carolina Across 100 is a five-year Carolina initiative housed at the School of Government’s ncIMPACT Initiative. This pan-University effort, guided by the Carolina Engagement Council, will form meaningful partnerships with communities in all 100 North Carolina counties to respond to challenges stemming from or exacerbated by COVID-19. “Our State, Our Work” is the first program of Carolina Across 100, connecting young adults to living wage employment opportunities. “Our State, Our Wellbeing” is the second program, focused on improving mental health and reducing suicide in North Carolina.