The Healthy Communities Initiative of Jefferson County has received a $40,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Madison and Jefferson County to help implement a local Zero Suicide Initiative plan.

HCI is sponsored by the King’s Daughters’ Health Foundation and charged with working to find sollutions to health needs in the community.

“The Community Foundation is grateful for the leadership shown by the KDH Foundation through the Healthy Communities of Jefferson County Initiative to take on suicide in Jefferson County,” said Bill Barnes, Community Foundation president and CEO. “While several nonprofit organizations have programs or are working on programs to help address suicide in the community, we truly need the all-encompassing approach” of HCI.

HCI coordinator Carri Dirksen hosted a community meeting July 30 for a presentation on Zero Suicide and how it’s been working in Barthlomew County. The template provided by Laurie Gerdt, with Zero Suicide and presenter at this meeting, will be used by the Zero Suicide Initiative Team in formulating a comprehensive plan.

Dirksen said she is grateful that the Community Foundation sees the need for such a plan.

“Our ultimate goal is to decrease the death by suicide rate in Jefferson County. Too many citizens in our county have a face that comes to mind when they hear the word suicide,”

For more information on the Zero Suicide Initiative Plan for Jefferson County, please contact Dirksen at