The Callaway County Health Department was not selected for a grant to establish a new faith-based suicide prevention group for the area.
Pam Phelps, Director of the Callaway County Medical Reserve Corps, is spearheading the group and said she isn't discouraged from the news. She said about 900 organizations across the country applied for the grant and only 200 were selected to be recipients.
She is applying for another grant through the Missouri Mental Health Foundation for a $8,000 grant to help fund a new organization.
Phelps said it will take about $10,000 to pay for suicide prevention curriculum and training for pastors and church leaders in Callaway County and bordering counties.
Between 10 and 12 churches have made a solid commitment to the group, Phelps said, but she would like to eventually see 20 as the group starts to flourish.
Phelps said people, tied to a religious community or not, tend to seek church leaders when depressed or contemplating suicide.
For more information on the faith-based suicide prevention group or faith committee on suicide prevention, call Pam Phelps at 573-642-6881.