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scenery in Western North Dakota

About the Project

The University of North Dakota (UND) and NORC at the University of Chicago have partnered on a five-year grant funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to address the steadily increasing suicide rate in western North Dakota (ND).
Called ND HOPES, the program serves three disproportionately affected populations including rural residents, veterans, and LGBTQ+ youth residing where the suicide rate is significantly greater than the state average.

ND HOPES stands for North Dakota Healthcare, Opportunity, Prevention and Education in Suicide. The program leverages a variety of multi-sectoral partners including state government agencies, health care providers, schools, and national and local nonprofit groups to implement multiple prevention and outreach programs across a 21-county catchment area. It also aims to increase capacity within the state to utilize quality suicide surveillance data to inform future efforts.

ND HOPES Catchment/Service Area

Western North Dakota map

Counties Included:

Divide, McKenzie, Williams, Adams, Billings, Bowman, Dunn, Golden Valley, Hettinger, Slope, Stark, Burleigh, Emmons, Grant, Kidder, Mclean, Mercer, Morton, Oliver, Sheridan, Sioux

Project Goals

  • Reducing suicide morbidity and mortality by 10% over 5 years

  • Prevent incidents of suicide in Western North Dakota through increased awareness and targeted community efforts

  • Implementing a multi-tiered approach to suicide prevention

ND HOPES will engage multi-sectoral partners to carry out the following strategies/approaches:


Tier 1 – Community-Based Interventions

  • Reduce access to lethal means by promoting safe storage practices

  • Identify and support people at risk by providing gatekeeper trainings

  • Promote connectedness through the implementation of Sources of Strength in schools and after school programs


Tier 2 – Healthcare-Based Interventions

  • Strengthen access and delivery of suicide care through the implementation of Zero Suicide

  • Strengthen crisis intervention by increasing awareness and use of crisis services

Tier 3 – Upstream Interventions/Public Health

  • Reduce provider shortages in underserved areas using tele-mental health

ND HOPES will also increase capacity within the state to utilize quality suicide surveillance data to inform future efforts.

Learn about the project's partners and team:

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