A UCF professor was named as the program director of a multimillion-dollar suicide-prevention program Thursday.

Kim Gryglewicz, an assistant professor of social work at the College of Health and Public Affairs will be an integral part of the $3.8 million Florida Linking Individuals Needing Care Project, which aids children, teenagers and young adults at risk of suicide in Central, Northeast and Southeast Florida.

"Our goal is to save lives," said Gryglewicz in an email release. "We want to be sure that youth and families are getting the services they need."

Gryglewicz is tasked with the selection and supervision of suicide-prevention specialists who will train professionals throughout Florida as they implement suicide prevention and early intervention programs.

According to Gryglewicz, the Florida LINC program will focus on individuals aged 10 to 24, a group with an increased risk of depression and suicidal thoughts.

"Kids today are being exposed to more things, such as cyberbullying, than in my generation," she said in an email. "They're also growing up at a quicker rate. It's not just teenagers who are feeling depressed, helpless and hopeless. We're seeing kids as young as 6 or 7 who feel this way."

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