The Mental Health Distress and Suicide Prevention - Intervention Grand Challenge

David Lardier*, Stephanie McIver, Monique Rodriguez, Veronica Salcido**

The Mental Health (MH) Distress and Suicide Prevention-Intervention Grand Challenge Research Group is an interdisciplinary team from the University of New Mexico (UNM) main campus, Health Sciences Center (HSC), UNM Valencia Campus, the state of New Mexico (NM), and the local community.

The Grand Challenge Research Group will address Level 1 goals of the re-imagine program, focusing on the development of an interdisciplinary team to create action items related to MH and suicide prevention-intervention strategies, as well as MH care and crisis care access specific to students across UNM Campuses. Level 1 goals include:

  1. convening identified team members and stakeholders across UNM Campuses and the community;
  2. engaging in capacity building and identify diverse stakeholders with varying areas of expertise and experiences from UNM campuses and the community relevant to the objective(s) of the Grand Challenge Research Group;
  3. developing and strengthening the Grand Challenge Research Group across UNM Campuses and the community;
  4. using Level 2 draft Goals (see narrative), prioritize adjustment and finalization of goals and objectives specific to MH distress and suicide prevention-Intervention strategies; and
  5. raising community awareness about the priority of MH distress and suicide prevention- intervention strategies. The Grand Challenge Research Group’s goals align with federal, state, local, and UNM strategic priorities.
Given increasing rates of serious mental illness (SMI) during the COVID-19 pandemic and deaths by suicide, there is substantial need to address these concerns immediately.