Western Oregon University

The overall goal of the Western Oregon University (WOU) Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Promotion Project (SPMHPP) is to strengthen the WOU infrastructure by developing a comprehensive, collaborative, effective, and culturally inclusive approach to suicide prevention and mental health promotion on campus. Major components of SPMHPP are to develop additional protocols to strengthen the suicide response system on campus; to create a web presence for suicide prevention and mental health promotion; to train students, faculty, and staff in the risk factors and warning signs of suicide and how to intervene; to reduce the stigma associated with help-seeking behavior; and to increase the awareness and utilization of resources. This project will serve approximately 5,400 students for the duration of the grant. WOU has an annual enrollment of 5,400 students. The campus population is primarily White (65%). Hispanic/Latino students comprise approximately 13% of the student body, American Indian/Alaska Natives 2%, Black/African American 4%, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander 3%, Asian 3%, and unknown 4%. International Students represent 6% of the student body, with the primary countries of origin being Saudi Arabia, China, Japan, and South Korea. Activities will be designed to address the needs of high-risk student populations such as first-generation, low-income, Hispanic, veterans and military families, American Indian and Alaskan Natives, and students who identify as LGBTQ+. The project has identified the following six objectives as our foci:

(1) establish a Suicide Prevention Task Force;

(2) develop postvention protocols for supporting the campus in the event of a student suicide;

(3) increase the capacity for staff, faculty, and student leaders to respond to, assist, and refer students at risk through gatekeeper training;

(4) develop and implement ongoing educational programs/seminars/events on suicide prevention and mental health promotion, some of which will be designed to engage and respond to at-risk students (e.g., first generation, low income, LGBTQ+, veterans, American Indian/Alaskan Native, Hispanic);

(5) develop and disseminate informational materials addressing issues related to suicide that are culturally and linguistically appropriate for students and families; and

(6) promote the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and local suicide prevention hotlines within the campus community. Additionally, we will evaluate all components of the project through process, performance, and outcome measures.

Weber State University

To better meet the mental health needs of our students, Weber State University (WSU) in Ogden, Utah is proposing a
new peer support program, titled Wildcat Support Network (WSN). The program will train peers to facilitate evidencebased
support groups that will address our ability to better identify students at risk, increase help seeking behaviors, help
students develop life skills, and increase social connectedness. We expect the expanded capacity WSN will provide will
afford significantly lower rates of suicide and suicide ideation.

Wayne State University

Wayne State University (WSU) is proposing a suicide prevention project whose purpose is to eliminate deaths by suicide in the University community through the development of an infrastructure of education, training, and dissemination of information to all faculty, staff, students and their families. WSU plans to create an environment in which mental health issues are not stigmatized, seeking help is encouraged and seen as a strength, and members of the campus community step in to prevent harm to each other. This will be accomplished through the development of collaborative networks, innovative marketing campaigns, gatekeeper training programs, and culturally-appropriate educational programs. Although all members of the campus will be included, this project will work to provide targeted programs and outreach to students at particular risk including those who identify themselves as LGBTQ, military veterans, and those living in campus residence halls. Particular attention will be paid to students who are often marginalized including those who are minority students or have mental health disabilities.

WSU is a public university with an enrollment of over 27,000 students. It is located in Detroit, Michigan. The University is primarily a nonresidential campus with nearly 90% of students living off campus. WSU is the most ethnically diverse public university in the State of Michigan. The need for comprehensive suicide prevention efforts is clear from data derived from the University. At least six suicides have occurred in the last several years; however, accurate tracking has not been possible. Nevertheless, other data from student surveys indicate that our students are highly stressed, juggle many responsibilities, and many are not fully prepared academically. Those who seek services at Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) have higher symptom levels than are typical at the counseling centers of universities the size of WSU.

Five goals are designed to impact the campus as a whole by creating a permanent infrastructure change for prevention services as well as approximately 4000 persons directly over the 3 year project period. These goals are:

1) Create a networking infrastructure that links WSU with health care providers from the broader community and resources;
2) Develop a gatekeeper training program on suicide prevention and mental health issues for all members of the University community, including students, faculty and staff;
3) Develop and implement, both in person and online, culturally appropriate educational seminars to all members of the University community;
4) Develop a cohesive marketing strategy that is culturally appropriate and advertises the WSU network infrastructure (and resources), the gatekeeper training (Kognito modules and Mental Health First Aid), the education seminars, college and national suicide prevention hotlines and Crisis Text Line; and,
5) Develop culturally appropriate online and print educational resources for parents and families to supplement information received in person at orientation.

Valparaiso University

The One-of-Us Initiative at Valparaiso University (ONUS VU) will create a more connected and safer campus community focused on decreasing risk by collectively promoting life. This program will serve our general student body, but will specifically target student veterans, LGBTQA and commuter students (populations at increased risk for suicide). University leaders and several VU campus departments and programs have volunteered their time and expertise to help develop sustainable partnerships and create a systemic structure for managing critical student incidents, mental health emergencies, and suicide. ONUS VU will bring together VU Counseling Services and other Student Affairs offices, Inclusion & Student Success Services (which includes Veterans Programs), Academic Affairs, Campus Ministry, and the Departments of Psychology, Social Work, and Education.

ONUS VU has four primary goals:

  1. Enhance mental health services for all college students; including those at risk for suicide, depression, serious mental illness, and/or substance use disorders that can lead to school failure.
  2. Increase the capacity to prevent mental and substance use disorders among college students.
  3. Promote help-seeking behavior and reduce negative public attitudes among students, faculty, and staff at Valparaiso University.
  4. Implement and continue evidence-based programs to improve the identification and treatment of at-risk college students so they can successfully complete their studies.

We will meet these goals through creating a network infrastructure between the campus and local communities and providing evidence-based trainings, awareness and stigma reduction programs, connectedness assessments and interventions, and increasing our capacity to screen for, assess, and treat suicide risk and mental and substance use disorders. We will add 12 new QPR (Question, Persuade, and Refer) trainers to our campus community and provide QPR gatekeeper trainings to at least 500 students, faculty, staff, and community members by the end of the grant. We also will provide information and outreach about mental health/substance use disorder services, and about suicide and suicide prevention, to our students and the local communities in coordination with Counseling Services and the Office of Alcohol & Drug Education, and via the following activities: an aggressive media and social media campaign, external speakers, and two annual courses on suicide.

Valencia College

Valencia College seeks funding to develop a Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT), an initiative that will:

1) Define a behavioral intervention plan to include a multi-disciplinary communication and escalation plan per campus, along
with training for faculty and staff to identify questionable student behaviors early on, an intervention approach rather
than a reactive response.

2) Build a more robust crisis identification system and response infrastructure, with the goal of triangulating multiple sources of data into one reporting system and structure 3) Launch a student campaign to teach students about identification and intervention of mental health and substance abuse disorders.

This three year project, based on a triage model, aligns with the Comprehensive Approach to Suicide Prevention, a model
advocated by the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC). Valencia College is a multi-campus designated Hispanic
Serving Institution and high minority college, with 29% of students being first generation. The College serves veterans,
international students, students with disabilities, LGBT+, and homeless students. In addition to serving the general
college population, the proposed project actively involves participants from such vulnerable populations, at risk for
increased suicidal ideation or action. Measureable project goals are:

Goal #1: Create a behavioral intervention plan to include a communication and escalation plan per campus, along with training for faculty and staff to identify student of
concern behaviors.

Goal #2: Increase data-sharing and improve communication across multiple locations via a campuswide
incident reporting system. Provide gatekeeper training on the new system.

Goal #3: Improve student understanding of mental health issues, identification and intervention strategies, and knowledge of resources available. All program
activities and outcomes will be provided for the National Outcomes Evaluation, along with recommendations to further
increase mental well-being and decrease incidents of student crisis, suicide, and substance abuse at Institutes of Higher
Education across the nation.

University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

The UWEC Thrive: Pathways to Success and Well-Being program aims to build capacity to help students thrive and reduce risk for school failure due to mental illness, substance use problems, and suicide. This goal will be accomplished by building an integrated, multidisciplinary, and comprehensive prevention infrastructure focusing on

  1. better identification and assistance of students at-risk through screening programs,
  2. building resilience, life skills, and social connections through outreach programming,
  3. strengthening care linkages with campus and local providers, and
  4. enhancing mental health services.

Our program will be delivered to the 10,000+ enrolled students annually, targeting our campus’ high-risk groups such as LGBTQ+ (16%), Veteran (3%), racial/ethnic minority (9%), and first/second-year students, along with faculty/staff and community members. The proposed program has three primary objectives driving our activities:

  1. By the end of the grant, there will be a 30% reduction in student failure/attrition due to suicide, mental health, and substance use problems.
  2. There will be a 10% reduction, each year of the grant, in the number of students in crisis due to suicide, mental health, or substance use concerns.
  3. By the end of the grant, have a formalized care network including county crisis teams, hospitals, and outpatient behavioral health providers that will grow by at least 2 new providers each year to facilitate safe care transitions for students between campus and local providers.

To achieve these objectives we will implement comprehensive, voluntary screening practices for early identification of students at risk, connecting them to support resources. Information and trainings regarding effectively responding to students with mental health and substance use disorders will be provided to students, faculty, and staff multiple times throughout the year. The group program at Counseling Services will be expanded in addition to creating and providing resilience and life-skills workshops. Active bystander and wellness outreach programs will work towards reducing negative attitudes and assisting others in accessing help. A peer support specialist program will be implemented to build social connections. We plan to strengthen care transitions by creating a formal network with local providers and by providing training in evidence based assessment, intervention, and prevention practices. This program is guided by the SPRC comprehensive approach to suicide prevention to ensure a solid, well-coordinated, and sustainable infrastructure is created in order to reduce the adverse consequences of mental health and substance use disorders, including suicides and school failure, on our campus.

University of TN at Martin

The University of Tennessee at Martin (UT Martin) UTooMatter project takes a public health approach to prevention. UT Martin is a four-year, public institution of higher education and one of four universities in the University of Tennessee System. The University is situated in Weakley County, rural Northwest Tennessee. As of Fall 2017, approximately 6,800 students were enrolled at UT Martin. With the increased need for mental health services on college campuses UT Martin proposes UTooMatter will reduce the adverse consequences of severe mental illnesses and substance use disorders by (1) To develop a sustainable infrastructure for linking students without adequate mental health resources to health care providers that can provide the appropriate services. (2) To provide the campus with an overall awareness of suicide and substance abuse risk factors, warning signs, prevention and resources through evidenced-based training on suicide prevention and mental health promotion and education. (3) To increase the use of voluntary mental health and substance use disorder screenings and assessments on each of UT MARTIN’s campus. Goal (1) will be addressed by developing and implementing a Crisis Protocol, providing telephonic after-hour behavioral health services, providing telehealth counseling to our 5 Educational Outreach Teaching Centers to reduce time and travel barriers, and creating an interdisciplinary task force to share information. Goal (2) will be accomplished by implementing effective trainings and programs (i.e., mental wellness, suicide, and substance. abuse) and strategies for early identification, prevention, and intervention for our students. Finally, goal (3) will be accomplished by increasing access to screening and creating a culture of help-seeking. UT Martin has provided personal counseling services, clinical health services, and wellness promotion and prevention programs to students for over thirty years with trained and credentialed professionals. A collaborative care model for behavioral health services was created when Student Health Services and Counseling Services (SHCS) merged to form SHCS in 2009. The counselor to student ratio for UT Martin main campus for the 2016-17 academic year was 1:1348. SHCS is committed to assisting students in achieving and maintaining wellness by providing medical and counseling services that address the unique needs of its diverse student population. SHCS recognizes that there are certain factors that make certain populations at higher risk of mental health and substance use disorders than others. The UTooMatter project proposes to target Veterans, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, and Asexual (LGBTQIA), and First-Generation college students. Efforts will be made to collaborate with organizations on-campus and off-campus that already serve these populations and our general student body.

University of TN at Chattanooga

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s (UTC) Garrett Lee Smith Suicide Prevention (GLS) project is designed to help support and accelerate UTC’s efforts in the development of a comprehensive crisis response plan, to enhance the campus community’s awareness of suicide risk factors and warning signs, increase connection to community resources, and increase trainings for students, faculty, staff, and parents to encourage early intervention and utilization of campus and community resources. Our targeted population will include all 13,000 UTC students, faculty, and staff including; veteran students, students with disabilities, first-generation college students, and LGBTQ students within our population. The GLS grant will help our campus focus on these initiatives by providing us with additional staff to help us in the development of a comprehensive plan, to provide trainings to our faculty, staff, students, and caregivers, and in the creation and distribution of awareness campaigns. The ProtoCall services requested in this grant will provide our campus with a resource for our community to increase crisis response for our entire campus community and includes additional line for community members to report behavioral concerns to encourage and facilitate early interventions related to mental health, suicide, and substance abuse. The project will also engage the larger community by creating partnerships and Memorandums of Understanding community crisis response services, emergency rooms, and service providers. In addition, the efforts of this grant will allow UTC to identify and assist high-risk populations by integrating information into existing alcohol and other drug prevention and education efforts. The total impact of the project is estimated to be approximately 6,000 people over the three-year project period through orientation sessions, staff trainings, student outreach, and community events. Project Goals include: Goal 1: Create an Advisory Board to develop a campus-wide protocol for crisis response utilizing the JED Framework for Developing Institution Protocols for Acutely Distressed or Suicidal College Students and Campus MHAP: A guide to campus mental health action planning.. Goal 2: Utilize evidence-based training, Question, Persuade, Refer gatekeeper training programs, and educational seminars to educate staff, students, parents, community members, and faculty. Goal 3: Enhance the campus community’s awareness of suicide risk factors, warning signs, and resources through programming and promotional materials.

University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

The School of Medicine of The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (SOM/UTRGV) Campus Suicide Prevention Program (CSPP) in collaboration with the Counseling Center seeks to raise awareness of suicide as a critical but preventable issue. The School of Medicine of the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV), is located on the border between Texas and Mexico. The larger UTRGV serves a traditionally underserved population, which is largely Hispanic in ethnicity (89% as of Fall 2015). While Hispanics constitute a clear majority, UTRGV students are diversified among a broad range of special populations including medical students; veterans; athletes; international students; students with disabilities; and gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, questioning and intersexed (GLBTQI) students. An overwhelming majority of students are also economically disadvantaged, relying on financial assistance and external employment to subsidize their college educations. The CSPP will address the numerous risk factors facing its target population through seven goals focusing on the implementation of training programs and activities geared to educate the faculty, staff, and students of the School of Medicine and the UTRGV campus on the identification and prevention of suicidal behaviors and appropriate intervention measures. Furthermore, it will implement outreach activities for students and their families, awareness campaigns that seek to destigmatize mental illness, implementation of wellness programs and the development of collaborative partnerships with community-based mental health agencies. The School of Medicine, Office of Student Support, Counseling and Wellness (Office of Student Wellness) in collaboration with Counseling Center will lead the implementation of the CSPP. Through a contractual agreement, The Office of Student Wellness will provide specialized training, employing the QPR (Question, Persuade, and Refer) Model, to over 300 faculty, staff and student leaders annually and 900 over the funding period. The QPR, a standardized program used in schools throughout the nation as well as the Department of Veterans Affairs, delivers a broad assessment and intervention strategy for addressing issues of suicidality on college campuses. Assessment of the efficacy of the CSPP will include collection and analysis of data sets from the process, performance, and outcomes of the Program as well as collection and analysis of the cross-site data required by SAMSHA. Ultimately, the CSPP will result in the establishment of a comprehensive plan designed to prevent suicidal behaviors among students and to facilitate the utilization of mental health services for those at risk.

University of Southern Mississippi

The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) Stepped CARE Project will create a new service model that both improves student access to mental health resources and provides campus-wide training and year-round suicide screening and prevention activities. Focused on increasing collaboration amongst community and campus stakeholders, this project will offer interventions that range from least intensive (self-directed on-line resources) to high intensive (referral to off campus specialty providers) with several options of intensity between these levels. Because many of USM’s  students are first generation college students in their family and come from low-income rural towns across the state, support for transition and help with resiliency skills are important for student success. The Stepped CARE Project offers resources for all 11,000 students at USM – from the homesick freshman to the recently diagnosed student with bi-polar who struggles with suicidal ideation. A campus-wide screening tool will be used by campus professionals to direct students to the appropriate resources. Financial barriers to assessment and treatment will be removed by covering expenses by campus clinics so they can provide services for free to students. Logistical barriers will be addressed through a campus-wide screening tool that will help professionals get students mental health needs met. This project will also train college students, faculty, and staff to respond effectively to college students with mental and substance use disorders. The Stepped CARE Project will provide outreach services to inform and notify college students about available mental and substance use disorder services.