University Of South Carolina

The University of South Carolina (UofSC) proposes Together We Can, a project to deepen our mental health
infrastructure, increase access to mental health and substance use services, and impact mental health culture on
campus by decreasing barriers to care, including negative beliefs about mental and behavioral health disorders for
campus populations found to be at-risk for increased suicidal ideation and/or decreased help seeking behavior. This
project includes education, outreach, and training to impact five identified target populations: student veterans, LGBTQ
students, students of color, students with low economic resources, and students displaying high-risk behavior. The
UofSC main campus is located in Columbia, SC, where roughly 34,000 students are enrolled. Within a 12 month period,
10% of students seriously considered suicide at some point, 6% intentionally caused harm to themselves, and 1.3%
attempted suicide (NCHA, 2017).

Strategies in this grant include: adding access to ProtoCall behavioral health hotline, regular screening events for students, adding Kognito Veterans On Campus faculty/staff and peer training, offering BASICS interventions within Student Health Services Patient-Centered Medical Home, and using Care and Concern
follow-up postcards to students who have participated in BASICS mandated and voluntary screenings, as well as
students screened with PHQ-9 within medical clinics, or referred by our Behavioral Intervention Team who did not followup
on advised referrals.

Our outreach to target populations includes two innovative projects: identifying faculty and staff within points of contact (positive or stressful) for students in target populations to offer specialized training and messaging; and a Mental Health Advocate program for students, modelled after the Recovery Advocate concept, that will
train students, especially those in target populations, to share a positive mental health story and advocate for students
seeking services and supporting each other when they have mental health concerns. Culturally relevant training and
materials will be developed for our top five international student populations. We will partner with the Student Veterans
Association to develop a Veterans Peer Listening training. We anticipate reaching at least 2,650 campus community
members per year through trainings, educational programs, and increased service utilization. A major message of
Together We Can is that there are many routes to mental health and substance use resources at UofSC to serve every
student: our ProtoCall hotline, Interactive Screening Program, TAO self-directed or therapist-assisted services, and
screening within medical clinics and at screening events, as well as a campus community rich with members who have
the knowledge and skills to refer students to appropriate care. The Together We Can project aims to increase access
to mental health and substance use services, decrease barriers to care particularly to target populations, and create a
more nuanced and skillful campus safety net for our highest risk populations, improving our overall campus mental health

University of Rhode Island

The proposed project aims to expand the content and delivery of an evidence-based intervention for mental and behavioral health that is designed to increase knowledge, decrease stigma, and encourage help-seeking behavior. By infusing this initiative into the academic and professional standards, this project has the potential to significantly improve mental/behavioral health outcomes and services at the University of Rhode Island. Advancing Mental Health First Aid makes broadly available training to identify, approach, and support individuals who may be struggling with mental/behavioral health concerns. The proposed initiative will develop and implement strategies to centralize and institutionalize the Advanced Mental Health First Aid curriculum through required matriculation and employment trainings, and developing a standing series of open trainings for those individuals who self-select for participation. Implementation of the core Mental Health First Aid curriculum (including the Higher Education module) will be conducted in concert with the development of 6 additional content modules aimed to more directly address the specific risk-factors that disproportionately affect vulnerable populations on college/University campuses, including: the LGBTQ community, international/multicultural student groups, student veterans, members of the Greek system, student Athletes, and students struggling with eating disorders or body image concerns. It is expected that a minimum of 600 participants will be trained during each of the first two years of the proposed project (1200), and an additional 800-900 participants will be trained during the final year (totaling a minimum of 2000-2500 trained participant over the course of the funding cycle). Participants for these trainings will include faculty/staff, and students (undergraduate and graduate) from across University campuses, colleges, and disciplines. Each training will involve self-report measures of participant knowledge of and confidence to use key Mental Health First Aid strategies to identify, approach, and support individuals struggling with mental/behavioral health concerns, including depression, anxiety, substance use/abuse, and suicidal ideation. Additional information will be gathered to evaluate participant awareness of mental/behavioral health resources on campus, as well as their confidence to refer individuals to key service providers at the University. These same constructs will be measured at 3, 6, and 12 months post-training and are expected to demonstrate increased knowledge of and confidence using skills and strategies to intervene on potential mental/behavioral health concerns, as well as increased awareness of and utilization of appropriate campus-based mental/behavioral health resources.

University of North Texas at Dallas

Students and Teachers Reaching Out and Never Giving up (STRONG) Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention
Program at UNT Dallas Abstract The University North Texas at Dallas (UNT Dallas) is proposing the program STRONG
(Students and Teachers Reaching Out and Never Giving up) to support a comprehensive and coordinated approach to
promote mental health and wellness on campus, focusing on the needs of the students and the communities surrounding
the campus. UNT Dallas is a minority serving and Hispanic serving institution with 32% of the students self-identifying
as African-American and 46% as Latino. The prototypical UNT Dallas student is raised in South Dallas, an area that
suffers significant economic distress and is often described as the mental healthcare desert. Project STRONG will
allow us to implement activities to raise awareness, strengthen UNT Dallas’ capacity and off-campus outreach and
network, with a goal of serving approximately 12,000 people annually and 16,000 throughout the life of the project,
including UNT Dallas students, parents/families, faculty/staff, and surrounding communities. We propose to: 1) Educate
and empower students and their families. Students and their family members will be outreached via on-line and paper
brochures, educational materials, mini-courses, life skill and leadership training, informational presentations, health fair
tables, awareness days, use of social media and promotion of online screenings.

By Year 1, 50% of students and 50% of parents/families will receive information and 30% of all students will receive Kognito At-Risk for Students training.
Participants will report 25% increase in their knowledge/attitudes/skills related to mental health issues. 2) Strengthen
the capacity of the faculty, staff, and student leaders to identify, respond to, and assist students at risk for suicide via
implementing Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) gatekeeper training; integrating mental health related service learning
projects in curricula and engaging and empowering student leaders as peer educators and peer advocates in the project
activities. By the end of Year 1, 30% of all faculty and staff members and 50% of all student leaders (club officers) will
be trained. Participants will report 50% increase in their knowledge/attitudes/skills to identify, respond to, and assist
students at-risk for suicide. 3) Strengthen the network of campus and community agencies that provide mental health
services, resources, and support for students, both on campus and in the community. Activities include assessment and
creation of new partnerships, improvement of referral system, promotion of community-based, national, or web-based
resources, creation of opportunities for mental health related service learning, experiential learning, and volunteering
in the community, and partnering up with local institutions and mental health agencies. By the end of Year 1, 100%
of the campus population will be reached with information about local/national services available, at least 40 students
will conduct service learning projects, 120 Upward Bound and 60 McNair Scholars will be trained and 6 high schools
and 1 faith-based organization will participate with us. Participants will report 25% of increase in mental health related

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The Behavioral Health Springboard (BHS) at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill’s School of Social
Work will utilize the Garret Lee Smith Campus Suicide Prevention funds to implement the Carolina Comprehensive
Approach to Suicide Prevention. UNC’s Counseling and Psychological Services, Student Wellness, Campus Health,
Athletics Department, and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs will collaborate with BHS to address
the unrecognized and untreated behavioral health conditions of UNC students and to equip the UNC community with
the necessary information and skills to help students in need to get connected to appropriate supports. The goals of
the Carolina Comprehensive Approach to Suicide Prevention include (Goal 1): Enhance mental health services for
UNC students, including those at risk for suicide, depression, serious mental illness, and/or substance use disorders
that can lead to school failure; (Goal 2): Prevent mental and substance use disorders that may, or could, emerge
during college enrollment; (Goal 3): Promote student help-seeking behavior and reduce negative public attitudes
among the UNC community and (Goal 4): Improve the identification and treatment of at-risk UNC students so they can
successfully complete their studies. By analyzing the interface between student life, campus behavioral health services
and resources, local referred providers, and any other key organizations, in a collaborative and inclusive process, this
project will identify and fill gaps related to the necessary components of a comprehensive approach. These components
include: identification and assessment; help-seeking; effective care and treatment; care transitions; responding to crisis;
postvention; access to means; life skills and resilience; and connectedness. Activities included in the project will be
performing a needs/gaps analysis and resource identification; gatekeeper training; policy and practice development; and
awareness campaigns.

University of Nebraska Lincoln

The purpose of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) Suicide Prevention Program, entitled An Evidence-based
Approach to Preventing Student Suicide at UNL, is to build infrastructure to increase and sustain capacity for effective
identification of and intervention for at risk students and develop a culturally appropriate, comprehensive approach to
address mental health promotion and suicide prevention. The target audience for the proposed project is the estimated
25,000 UNL enrolled students including those at high-risk for suicide and behavior health disorders. Campus and
community partners will address prevention and student well-being by establishing sustainable policies and procedures
with clear pathways for at-risk students transitioning to and from treatment and the campus setting. This project will
provide training for over 4000 faculty, staff, and students in suicide prevention, expand ways to screen students for
depression, alcohol and other drug misuse and abuse and connect them to resources. Campus providers will participate
in CAMS (Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality) training each year with 30 providers trained over
the grant period. Project staff will guide the development of a multi-media campaign to promote help seeking and reduce
the stigma associated with mental health issues.

University of Hawai’i at Hilo

The University of Hawaiʻi Suicide Prevention Program will serve a highly diverse student population and will target subpopulations that are at high risk for depression, suicide, and substance use issues, including Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders, LGBTQ students, students with disabilities, veterans, and students who stigmatize mental health and/or rarely access mental health care prevention and support services. The goals of this grant project are to reduce mental health disparities related to our students’ race, ethnicity, gender and/or sexual identity; decrease reported levels of student distress and suicidal ideation on campus; and educate students and campus community about alcohol and substance use and abuse as a means of reducing high-risk and harmful student behaviors. Interventions and strategies used will include suicide prevention gatekeeper trainings, mental health and substance use focus groups, mental health screening, alternative mental health wellness intervention / prevention programming, and stigma reduction education.

The project’s objectives are as follows:

  1. to develop a Community Stakeholder Communication Protocol and establish a Community Prevention Network,
  2. facilitate completion of Kognito for 40% of targeted student leaders / employees, and 30% of targeted faculty / staff by end of grant period,
  3. train two new QPR facilitators to offer this suicide prevention gatekeeper training to 210 students over three years,
  4. establish sustainable protocols and management systems for ongoing suicide prevention gatekeeper training,
  5. train 40 student leaders over three years in using and sharing Hei, an indigenous strategy for well-being,
  6. increase student participation in mental health / substance use screening events by 10% each year,
  7. roll out No Shame, No Blame stigma reduction campaign particularly targeting Hawaiian and Pacific Islander men,
  8. by the end of three years, produce six video clips aimed at increasing targeted students’ access of counseling services by 15%,
  9. deliver evidence-based substance use intervention program(s) to 30% of students who have identified themselves as needing this support,
  10. develop culturally relevant alternative mental health prevention and intervention strategies by conducting focus groups, allowing at least 120 students over three years to access mental health care services who otherwise would not,
  11. expand access to HeartMath software by at least 25 students a year as part of a campaign about stress, anxiety and sleep management, and
  12. revitalize Men of Strength programming as a means of increasing participant’s help-seeking, well-being, and knowledge of campus and community support resources.

University of Colorado Denver

The purpose of this program is to develop a comprehensive, collaborative, well-coordinated, and evidence-based approach to: (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) previdence-based and substance use disorders; (3) promote help-seeking behavior and reduce negative public attitudes; and (4) improve the identification and treatment of at-risk college students so they can successfully complete their studies. It is expected that this program will reduce the adverse consequences of serious mental illness and substance use disorders, including suicidal behavior, substance-related injuries, and school failure. 

University of Arkansas at Little Rock

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UA Little Rock) MidSOUTH, in partnership with the UA Little Rock Counseling Services, proposes to enhance its current suicide prevention practices for students attending the university. MidSOUTH is the community outreach arm and training center for the UA Little Rock School of Social Work. Arkansas currently ranks 10th in the national rankings for suicides per capita according to the Centers for Disease Control. UA Little Rock has a very diverse population including students who identify as LGBTQ, have disabilities, and veterans. MidSOUTH plans to work with each of these populations for the campus suicide prevention program. While, UA Little Rock has had numerous suicide attempts as well as deaths by suicide, the benchmark study of UA Little Rock students revealed that only 2.17% of those surveyed reported receiving counseling services on campus. The overarching goal for the UA Little Rock/MidSOUTH Garrett Lee Smith Campus Suicide Prevention Program is to prevent deaths by suicide of university students. More specifically, the goal is to increase awareness, provide needed training, and strengthen the processes and collaboration with behavioral healthcare providers in the community to insure students in need receive the best and most appropriate care to prevent suicide attempts and death by suicide. Project staff, Counseling Services staff, student interns, and a parent advocate (parent of a college student who died by suicide) will comprise the Suicide Prevention Committee that will guide the selection of informational materials and training to be offered. A great need for UA Little Rock is to create a network that will link Counseling Services with healthcare providers in the area. Tools and practices that support continuity of care to ensure patients have timely access to follow-up care will be identified and/or developed that include formal referral agreements, interagency agreements, follow-up contacts, and student and family education. In addition, a formal postvention plan for immediate and long-term needs to be established for UA Little Rock. In year one, UA Little Rock/MidSOUTH will work to develop a network of providers that will coordinate closely with the UA Little Rock Counseling Services. In addition, informational materials will be identified and/or developed to be used to increase awareness of suicide and the Arkansas Hotline. Initial training for students, faculty, and staff will also begin in year one. In years two and three, when appropriate referral services are in place, the focus will be to increase awareness of available services on campus, continue distribution of materials, and increase training for students, faculty, and staff. UA Little Rock/MidSOUTH will collect and report all SAMHSA required data.

University of Akron

University of Akron initiative brings innovation, interventions, and collaboration, while maximizing our best resource; students. We will enhance mental health services for students, prevent mental illness and substance use disorders where possible, improve identification of students at risk, and increase health seeking behaviors via three primary pillars: Coordination, Process, and Programs Coordination: The University has recently launched an Addictions Task Force (ATF) to address behavioral health needs of student. The ATF consists of university leadership, faculty, student groups, community organizations, and campus health resources. It is structured into 5 committees that will implement and monitor activities: Communication, Rules and Regulations, Programs, Data, and Steering. Process: Uses the Strategic Prevention Framework model in promoting data informed decision making. This ensures implementation of “best-fit” intervention and prevention activities. This will be accomplished through a 3-year implementation approach: Year 1: Complete a SWOT analysis of student needs and campus resources. Use the resulting data, inclusive of the National College Health Assessment, archival data, and a Resource Assessment, to determine programmatic gaps or underutilized programs, while providing Certified Peer Educator and Ally Training. Year 2: Launch social norming campaign, targeted marketing of campus resources, and establish on-campus clinical field placements. Begin implementation of peer to peer services Year 3. All programs will be fully implemented and generating student-based outcomes; sustainability goals met. Programs: Programming will be a blend of evidence-based curriculums, augmenting screening (SBIRT) provided by clinical interns, development of recovery allied student organizations, and improve health seeking via targeted marketing, stigma reduction, and peer ally referrals. Strategies to address specific goals will include: 1. Increase identification and referral for at-risk students via embedding SBIRT services in the wellness center (@1000/year) 2. Prevention via partnership with community prevention agencies, early intervention/referral, and, and social norming campaigns. (outreach to 22,000 students per year) 3. Promote Health Seeking via peer-led services. This includes BACCHUS and Ally training, while increasing participation in recovery/advocacy-based student organizations. Help Text-line, increased visibility of a Collegiate Recovery Community, and mental health screening days, are to be included. (Increase health seeking by 10%/YEAR) By maximizing clinical field placements, utilizing ATF infrastructure, and enhancing community relationships we are confident this initiative will be sustainable post funding.

University at Albany

The University at Albany, State University of New York (UAlbany) proposes to meet the unique and increasingly complex
needs of its undergraduate and graduate students who are at high risk for suicide and substance abuse through the
enhancement of its nationally-recognized STEPS Comprehensive Prevention Program, listed in SAMHSA’s National
Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP) and recipient of over ten national awards for behavioral
health innovation. Project activities will include: 1) development, implementation, and evaluation of an interactive online
audience-specific and responsive gatekeeper training program that addresses the needs, concerns, and subcultures
of our diverse campus stakeholders, so that each of these audiences may respond effectively to students with mental
and behavioral health problems, including suicide risk and substance abuse, and; 2) enhancement, implementation, and
evaluation of the University’s existing innovative, evidence-based substance abuse Screening and Brief Intervention
(SBI) protocol for alcohol abuse to include concurrent screening for depression, anxiety, marijuana, the non-medical
use of prescription drugs, and opioid use.

The objectives of the UAlbany STEPS Program training, educational and screening enhancements will 1) reduce rates of student suicide, suicide attempts, substance abuse, and related mental/
behavioral health problems; 2) increase access to and utilization of campus mental health, substance abuse, and related
primary care services by the undergraduate and graduate students in most need of them, and 3) increase consultations
and referrals of students in need of mental health and substance abuse services by faculty, staff, administrators, and
students who have participated in online audience-specific gatekeeper training. Project initiatives and programs will
reach 21,000 individuals, including UAlbany undergraduate and graduate students as well as campus administrators,
faculty, and staff members. This project has been developed through a strategic planning process involving a diverse
cross-section of the target population as well as a Project Institutionalization Council of key campus and community
partners and stakeholders in response to a critical service need at the University as documented by assessment
survey data and records of critical incidents, including the occurrence of three completed suicides and three substance
abuse-related deaths during the past five years. Building on its long history of commitment and national leadership
in both the suicide prevention and alcohol and substance abuse prevention fields, as well as its successful work and
significant progress under two prior SAMHSA GLS Campus Suicide Prevention Grants in FY 2005 and 2008, UAlbany
has prepared for project implementation by expanding existing collaborative partnerships with a number of groups on
and off campus, including members of the target population of both undergraduate and graduate college students, as
well as the community-based Capital District Psychiatric Center/Albany County Crisis Unit and Mobile Crisis Team.