Promoting Help-Seeking Among College Students: Strategies for Suicide Prevention

General Webinar
Date:  May 22, 2014 - 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm (America/New_York)

For information, contact:

  Dominique Lieu

This webinar will focus on one component of a comprehensive, public health approach to suicide prevention and mental health promotion on campuses: increasing student help-seeking. Presenters will share recent research findings and will describe strategies their campuses are employing to increase the likelihood that a student who needs mental health services will seek out and secure assistance.

Learning Objectives:

  • Summarize new research on the barriers and facilitators to help-seeking among suicidal college students
  • Describe ways to engage students and enhance peer networks of support to promote help-seeking
  • Describe ways to promote help-seeking among students at greater risk of suicide, including those who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and/or Questioning (LBGTQ)
  • Describe ways to enhance cultural congruence, including utilization of natural support systems and communication in students’ first languages

Event Presenter(s)


Marilyn Downs, PhD, LICSW, Director of Outreach, Counseling and Mental Health Service, Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts

Charlie Morse, MA, LMHC, Assistant Dean for Student Development & Director of Counseling, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, Massachusetts

Alma Rosa Silva-Bañuelos, Director, LGBTQ Resource Center, Division for Equity & Inclusion, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Frankie Flores, Caring @ Every Connection Coordinator, LGBTQ Resource Center, Division for Equity & Inclusion, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Eugenia Curet, PhD, MSW, LCSW, Assistant Dean of Students for Support Services, The University of Texas Pan American, Edinburg, TX


Bonnie Lipton, MPH, Campus Prevention Specialist, Suicide Prevention Resource Center

Presenter Biographies:

Marilyn Downs, Ph.D., LICSW, is Director of Outreach at the Tufts University Counseling and Mental Health Service and former Project Director for the Tufts Garrett Lee Smith Suicide Prevention Grant. She is on the faculty at the Boston University School of Social Work and is a national trainer for the Assessing and Managing Suicide Risk (AMSR) curriculum. Her research, publications, and conference presentations have focused on help-seeking, suicide prevention and intervention, mental illness stigma, peer effects on mental health, and clinical supervision.

Charlie Morse, MA, LMHC, is Assistant Dean for Student Development and Director of Counseling at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts. He is principle investigator on two consecutive three year SAMHSA campus suicide prevention grants. With this funding Charlie and his team developed the “Student Support Network” (SSN) program; a six-week interactive and experiential training for students in how to best recognize and respond to their peers’ mental health distress. The SSN program is listed as a best practice with the Suicide Prevention Resource Center and has been manualized and freely distributed to over 200 campuses nationally. Morse’s research interests include the use of acceptance based strategies within training protocols to reduce stigma associated with help seeking and improve trainee mental health functioning.

Alma Rosa Silva-Bañuelos is currently the Director of the LGBTQ Resource Center at the University of New Mexico. In this role, Alma Rosa is committed to creating a space that provides service to UNM students, faculty and staff of all gender identities and sexual orientations through support, advocacy, education and safety. She has also been a community organizer in her hometown of Albuquerque, NM since the late 1990’s, and has worked throughout New Mexico facilitating local and rural communities to self-organize for social justice. She has worked with many local, statewide, regional, national, bi-national non-profits and currently is part a member of the Board of Directors for the Transgender Resource Center of NM (TGRCNM). She is also a co-founding member of Young Women United, local grass roots non-profit organization founded in 1999. Alma Rosa continues to organize and advocate for social justice while working towards LGBTQ* recognition, acceptance, equal rights and liberation.

Frankie Flores currently serves as the Admin Assistant II for the LGBTQ Resource Center. He is also the Caring @ Every Connection coordinator. Frankie has worked at the University of New Mexico for six years in multiple capacities. Frankie is committed to serving the LGBTQ population on UNM campus. Frankie is originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Eugenia Curet, PhD, MSW, LCSW, holds a Master Degree in Social Work with specialization in psychiatric social work from the New York University Graduate School of Social Work, and a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies focusing in Public Health and Substance Abuse from The Union Institute and University, Cincinnati, Ohio. From April 2008 to September 6, 2013, Dr. Curet was employed by the University of Texas at Brownsville (UTB) where she was Assistant Dean for Counseling and Medical Services and Clinical Associate Professor. At UTB she was also the Principal Investigator for several funded programs which included the Garrett Lee Smith Campus Suicide Program. Under her leadership more than 3,000 members of the campus community and surrounding community agencies and educational institutions were trained as suicide prevention gatekeepers. As recognition of her work on suicide prevention she received the 2013 Leadership on University Campuses and in the Community Award by the Texas Suicide Prevention Council. At present she is Assistant Dean of Student for Support Services at the University of Texas Pan American where she has continued her work with training members of the campus community on suicide prevention. Most recently, she was a co-presenter on Preventing Suicide and Promoting Mental Health among Hispanic Students Attending Institutions of Higher Education, American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education, Inc., Ninth Annual National Conference, Costa Mesa, California, held on March 6-8, 2014.

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