FRA Announces $293K in Suicide Prevention Grants

Written by Andrew Corselli, Managing Editor
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“This money will help local law enforcement agencies deter people from taking unnecessary risks around railroad tracks,” said FRA Administrator Ron Batory.

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has made available $293,000 in competitive grant funds for Railroad Trespassing Suicide Prevention Program projects.

The notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) solicits grant applications from eligible organizations that focus on suicide prevention or mental health assistance, to implement activities to reduce railroad-related suicides. This includes nonprofits and railroads. Selected grant recipients will be awarded a maximum of $100,000 each.

The NOFO—which can be seen below—exemplifies the approaches outlined in FRA’s National Strategy to Prevent Trespassing on Railroad Property, which the agency issued in 2018. This includes providing funding and helping develop partnerships among stakeholders.

The National Strategy to Prevent Trespassing on Railroad Property also includes data collection and analysis. While the results of the projects funded by these grants will contribute to ongoing research efforts, the funds are intended for organizations to actively conduct life-saving efforts.

Projects eligible for funding under this NOFO implement specific actions narrowly tailored for reducing suicides that involve railroad trespassing. Examples include training staff to identify at-risk individuals and intervene, raising awareness of services, and launching public awareness campaigns.

The grant funds were made available by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2019 (Pub. L. 116-6), and the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020 (Pub. L. 116-94). The NOFO gives applicants 60 days to apply. Applications are due no later than 5 p.m. ET on Aug. 10.

Following publication, FRA will offer web-based training and technical assistance for prospective applicants.

“Every year, hundreds of people attempt to commit suicide using the U.S. rail system, and data analysis suggests that 50% or more of fatal trespass incidents are suicides,” FRA Administrator Ronald L. Batory said. “We believe that allied organizations working together can reduce such incidents. These grants will strengthen existing partnerships and create new ones to help deter and prevent needless tragedies.”

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