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The History of the State Coalition (MiSPC)

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Around 1997, a workgroup was assembled to mobilize prevention efforts at the state level. Participants included mental health professionals, state officials, academicians and survivors of suicides assembled to mobilize prevention efforts at the state level. The workgroup labored for two years to develop a statewide plan, but consensus could not be reached. However, the foundation was laid for a second group to complete their important work. In October 2003, the MiSPC was founded in Midland, Michigan as a separate organization under MASP's 501(c)(3) non-profit status. For the next two years, this group used the earlier draft and the 2001 National Strategy for Suicide Prevention to plan Michigan's response to the following challenge - how do we address suicide throughout the state with limited resources and a diverse range of needs? The outcome was the Michigan Suicide Prevention Plan.

The coalition was led by Patricia K. Smith, Violence Prevention Program Coordinator for the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH), and Larry Lewis, MSW, President of the Michigan chapter of the Suicide Prevention Action Network (SPAN). Members came from different regions of the state and diverse backgrounds, including (but not limited to) crisis lines, academic institutions, private and community mental health agencies, foundations, suicide prevention organizations, and survivor of suicide support groups.

In January 2010, representatives from both MASP and MiSPC met and passed the following resolution to merge MiSPC back into MASP:

"RESOLUTION TO MERGE: Whereas the Michigan Suicide Prevention Coalition began at a preconference meeting of Michigan Association Suicide Prevention members and others who were interested in completing a State Suicide Prevention Plan.

Whereas their task was to design a plan and present it to the Governor. This was completed in 2005.

Whereas MiSPC members continue to meet and are completing a State of State Plan report. However, it was not their intended task to do all of the work to carry out the plan.

Whereas discussions with MASP Advisory Board members including: Dr. David Litts, Dr. Cheryl King, Dr. Alton Kirk and others are in favor of the Michigan Association Suicide Prevention continuing the work of the State Plan.

Whereas, many of the initial members of the coalition are also MASP members. MASP is a strong advocacy group, has 501(c)(3) status, and a strong Advisory Board.

Whereas MASP Board members have had lengthy discussions about the ramifications of taking over the work involved to continue to move forth the State Plan.

Therefore, with a proposal made by Mike Mitchell and seconded by Joan Durling and voted on by members of both groups, the motion was passed unanimously.

It is resolved the MiSPC will merge this date and become a part of Michigan Association of Suicide Prevention.

It is the intent to keep the original MiSPC logo and names of members on the current web site. The coalition members worked diligently to develop a State Plan and should continue to be recognized.

It is the intent for MASP to continue to add new members from across the State. Suicide prevention is a worthy task but not an easy project. The State Plan offers a firm foundation for other coalitions across the state.

Respectfully submitted,

Joan Durling, MASP Secretary
January 30, 2010"

Michigan's Suicide Prevention Plan

Updated on 10/22/2016.