Excellus BlueCross BlueShield recently awarded Contact Community Services with a $3,500 Community Health Award grant to support the Suicide-Safer Community Project. The funds will support Contact’s efforts to increase community awareness of suicide and its warning signs.

The Suicide-Safer Community Project provides suicide prevention information and resources through educational materials, media messaging and QPR Gatekeeper Training. The aim is to increase suicide prevention knowledge and skills to assist those in crisis within the community, thus reducing stigma and ensuring that those who need support will receive it before they reach a suicidal crisis.

Through a competitive application process, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield’s Community Health Awards support programs that have clear goals to improve the health or health care of a specific population. Awards focus on improving the health status of the community, reducing the incidence of specific diseases, promoting health education and enhancing overall wellness and are made based on scope of need, goals of the program, number of people expected to benefit from the program and positive impact on the community’s health status.

“The company’s Community Health Awards demonstrate a corporate commitment to support local organizations that share our mission as a nonprofit health plan,” said Mark Muthumbi, regional president of Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. “These awards complement our existing grants and sponsorships with agencies that work to enhance quality of life, including health status, in upstate New York.”

In the more than 80 years that Excellus BlueCross BlueShield has been serving residents of upstate New York, the company has supported hundreds of programs that are aimed at improving the health status of area residents.

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield’s Central New York region encompasses Onondaga, Oswego, Cayuga, Cortland and Tompkins counties.