About ISP

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Many factors contribute to individuals’ reluctance to seek mental health services. Negative attitudes toward mental health treatment, sometimes rooted in past experiences, or cultural beliefs that equate mental health problems with weakness. Other barriers include the fear of being judged or stigmatized, or fear of sanctions for disclosing suicidal thoughts or self-harm behaviors.

With ISP, organizations and institutions across the country are taking a proactive approach to breaking down these barriers by offering help to these at-risk individuals and encouraging them to connect with available mental health services. Because it’s unlikely that these individuals will connect with help through traditional forms of outreach, organizations and institutions are turning to ISP as a unique and innovative way to reach those individuals who are too often struggling in silence. Providing individuals with a confidential and convenient way to connect, ISP can reach people before crises emerge. Some may be at a stage where their problems can be helped by peer counseling or other wellness services, others may need to explore more intensive mental health treatment. 

Most importantly, ISP serves as an integral part of efforts to prevent suicide, as well as part of a broader initiative to enhance mental health and well-being. By engaging at-risk individuals into treatment, ISP acts on several levels of a comprehensive approach to mental health promotion and suicide prevention. The program identifies individuals at-risk, increases their help-seeking behavior as well as helps to promote social connectedness. Operating at organizations and institutions nationwide, ISP has connected thousands of individuals to services they would not have sought otherwise

Each site that implements the ISP has its own customized, secure website that houses the Stress & Depression Questionnaire and supports all online exchanges between user and counselor. To learn more about the ISP, contact the Program Director at isp@afsp.org.