Albany State University

The “We Are One Albany State University (ASU)” project seeks to develop a multi-disciplinary team of students, faculty, staff, administrators and community partners to develop the infrastructure for suicide and substance use prevention and increase the system capacity to enhance and sustain effective prevention programs and services which support SAMSHA’s Strategic Initiative of increasing awareness and understanding mental and substance use disorders. ASU is a Historically Black Institution (HBCU) located in rural Southwest Georgia. In December 2016, the University System of Georgia granted approval for the creation of the new ASU from the consolidation of Albany State University an HBCU and Darton State College (DSC) an institution with an access mission, effective January, 2017. The Fall 2017 enrollment for ASU was 6615 of which 71.1% were females, 70% were African Americans, 2.4% were Hispanics, 22% were Caucasians, 0.9% Asian, 0.1% Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, 1.4% were multiracial; 0.3% were American Indian/Alaska Native and 2.9% did not report their race/ethnicity. A majority of students are first-generation learners, 54% lived on campus and 97% received some form of financial aid. The average age for undergraduates is 23.8. (BOR, 2017). About 5% of the student population is active duty military personnel, veterans or families of veterans. The goals of the project are: (1) create comprehensive infrastructure and collaborative networking; (2) increase knowledge of prevention of suicides, mental and substance use disorders; (3) promote help-seeking behaviors and reduce stigma and negative public attitudes towards mental health; and (4) create a campus community “We Are One ASU,” where the ommunity is engaged in assuring that each student experiencing mental distress is identified, screened and referred. The project will serve participants by offering training, programs and activities related to mental and substance use disorders and offer information on campus and community mental health resources. The project will provide direct training for at least 500 students and 50 key stakeholders each year and provide other programs, activities and services to at least 1000 students and other stakeholders each year for a total of at least 4650 participants over the life of the grant. The project activities will include: (1) create a Suicide Prevention Coalition of ASU and community partners; (2) offer activities, trainings and programs to prevent substance abuse disorders; (3) offer culturally appropriate training program (Kognito and QPR) to reduce stigma associated with seeking care; (4) reevaluate the present crisis response plan to accommodate the needs of the new ASU; and (5) distribute culturally appropriate informational materials that address warning signs of suicide, describe risk and protective factors, and identify appropriate actions to take when a student is in distress. The project will ensure that the needs of students at high-risk including, but not limited to LGBT, military family members and veterans are met.

Yellowhawk Tribal Health Center

Yellowhawk Tribal Health Center, a tribally operated health clinic located in Pendleton, Oregon is requesting funding from SAMHSA to implement a five year tribal youth suicide prevention project for the Confederated Tribes of Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR). The project will provide a broad based program of trainings, systemic improvements to assure continuity of care and implementation of best practices, increased treatment efficacy, and culturally-attuned prevention services in collaboration with a wide range of program partners.

Population: Circles of Hope will serve Native American youth between the ages of 10 and 24 in Umatilla and Union Counties.

Demographics and clinical characteristics: Youth suicide has been a significant health problem within the CTUIR for decades. In the past three years, there have been 12 known suicide attempts by Native youth and one youth who completed suicide. A study completed in 2009 found that 1 in 7 CTUIR tribal youth had attempted suicide in a 12-month period.

Strategies/interventions: Yellowhawk Tribal Health Center will provide a comprehensive suicide prevention, intervention and post-vention program to be carried out collaboratively with 12 or more community organizations and six project staff positions: project assistant/evaluation coordinator, young adult outreach specialist, mental health counselor, community engagement specialist, integrated care mental health counselor, and project director. They will expand access to behavioral health services, promote regional system change to address suicide, provide outreach and life skills for youth and emerging adults, develop a suicide prevention community coalition, and arrange community healing workshops to address historical and multi-generational trauma. The American Indian Life Skills Curriculum, Project Venture, and Native Wellness program will be provided to youth in order to support resilience and promote mental health. Training in five best practice models, including QPR, ASIST, AMSR, DBT and EMDR will be provided to a broad range of youth serving agencies, as well as local health care, mental health and substance abuse professionals.

Goal 1 – To engage the tribal community in promoting healthy and empowered individuals and families.

Goal 2 – To build youth resilience by strengthening connections to community and culture through experiential learning and life skills development.

Goal 3 – To strengthen the tribe?s ability to prevent youth suicides and support healing of those affected by suicide.

Goal 4 – To initiate system change in the delivery of behavioral health services by providing integrated preventative and follow-up care.

Goal 5 – To facilitate regional system change to address youth suicides through partnerships.

Goal 6 – To collect data to facilitate program improvement and assess impact.

Number of people served: The 746 youth members of the CTUIR, ages 10 to 24.

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

A comprehensive approach to supporting at-risk students can only reach its potential in the context of an entire community of individuals at all levels committed to the well-being of each and every member. The Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) Student Development and Counseling Center (SDCC) coordinates a campus-based approach involving all levels of the community in efforts to recognize and respond effectively to students in distress. One of the highlights of WPI’s comprehensive prevention program has been a unique and innovative peer training program developed by the SDCC that is called the Student Support Network (SSN). This six-week training has improved the network of student support on campus by empowering student leaders with critical knowledge, skills, and perspectives which help them identify and reach out to friends in distress and help those friends access available care. Over 250 student leaders have been trained in the SSN model in the past four years.

WPI will significantly expand and evolve the SSN training model to incorporate stigma reduction elements drawn from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). In addition to the ongoing general peer training, the SSN training series will be implemented for key faculty and staff and will seek to actively recruit students who are known to underutilize mental health services, including international students, underrepresented students, and graduate students. Also, WPI will seek to develop and deploy population-based messaging aimed at mental health stigma reduction based on key core concepts identified in the ACT model. The SSN training model could be a valuable addition to suicide prevention efforts nationally. WPI continues to make the model available to others by listing it on the Suicide Prevention Resource Center Best Practices Registry, and the university will provide training and implementation consultation to interested campuses.

Much of our grant-funded work has been dedicated to developing and evolving the SSN model. SSN is very different from other peer-oriented programs in that it assumes that there are pre-existing support networks on college campuses, and it attempts to identify, engage, and support those networks. The content of the six-week training series is, in our opinion, less important than the process of forming supportive connections within these networks. With these connections, key individuals within these networks are better supported in their efforts to help others and more likely to recognize and respond to individuals who would benefit from being connected to professional local and area mental health supports.

Wichita State University

Wichita 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 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, first year students 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 state university with an enrollment of 14,550 students. It is located in the largest city in Kansas, Wichita. The University is primarily a nonresidential campus with nearly 93% of students living in the greater metropolitan community and is considered the most ethnically diverse public university in the State of Kansas. The need for comprehensive suicide prevention efforts is clear from data derived from University participation in national health surveys and information regarding suicide rates in the surrounding community. In 2012, surveys indicated 7% of students had seriously considered suicide in the past 12 months. Even more concerning, nearly 10% living in the residence halls and over 10% of freshmen had seriously considered suicide in the past 12 months. The county in which the University resides has consistently higher rates of suicidal behavior than the national average as well.

Six goals are designed to impact the entire campus as a whole by creating a permanent infrastructure change for prevention services as well as approximately 5000 persons directly over the 3 year project period. These goals are: 1) Establish a gatekeeper training program on suicide prevention and mental health issues, 2) Develop and regularly offer, both in person and online, educational seminars, 3) Develop a cohesive marketing strategy that reinforces the information provided in goals 1-2 and make resources available both in print and online forms so that all members of the University community know how to direct people in need to appropriate services both on and off campus, 4) Develop online and print educational resources for parents and families to supplement information received in person at orientation, 5) Develop a collaborative network of campus and community groups in order to more accurately track student suicide attempts and suicides, and 6) Develop a network including representatives of high-risk groups to inform and support our overall strategy.

Western Washington University

Western Washington University is requesting a three-year grant of $294,948 to enhance Suicide Prevention Activities on campus. The number of completed student suicides has greatly increased in the last few years, and the need to enhance prevention activities targeted at men, high-risk students, and the entire student body is widely recognized. A cross-campus coalition has planned activities based on Best Practices, tailored to the unique culture of our students.In recent years, Western has enhanced communication and outreach on prevention issues both on campus and in the community. This project will formalize and extend current efforts, with the goals of (1) developing messages and activities tailored to create a culture of caring where formal and informal support systems empower individuals to become involved in their own mental health by utilizing existing systems; (2) collaborating internally and externally to improve opportunities for understanding; bystander roles, behaviors that place individual at risk, and options for referral; (3) providing early interventions to address risk factors and encourage informal support systems which anticipate and respond before depression impacts action; and (4) documenting and assessing clinical and programmatic efforts.Project activities will directly address cultural issues that create barriers to prevention, initiate new activities, evaluate and assess efforts to make adjustments as needed to fit the needs of Western students and their families, and lay the groundwork for sustainability of suicide prevention activities in the future. Activities will focus on (1) educational seminars, outreach, and messaging (print and online) to reach students and their families; (2) training for students and campus personnel; (3) campus networks, community partnerships, and promotion of hotlines; and (4) reviewing and utilizing Best Practices. It is anticipated that these activities will reach an average of 7,500 individuals each year during the three year project.In addition to collecting and reporting data on SAMHSA required performance measures, Western will continue previous efforts to collect data via national mental health surveys and internal data on individual student cases. Evaluation and assessment will also include tracking the utilization of Kognito software, utilizing focus groups for the Menâ€‖s Resiliency Project, and tracking the number of referrals made by faculty, staff, students and families.

Western Michigan University

The escalation of mental health difficulties and the steady level of suicide completions among college students prompt the call for effective university-based prevention efforts. This comprehensive suicide prevention plan for Western Michigan University seeks to modify aspects of the Air Force Suicide Prevention Program (2001) to a non-military, academic environment.

The Air Force program reduced the incidence of completed suicides and attempts among Air Force Personnel and is considered “highly effective” according to SAMHSA. The elements adapted include; the utilization of a community-based approach, the use of community leaders to carry out and support the program, the dissemination of information regarding risk factors, symptoms, and referral sources for depression and suicide, and the promotion of help seeking behavior among students at risk. Proposed activities include the training of campus leaders, the use of culturally sensitive social marketing activities to promote community responsiveness to mental health problems and promote help seeking, and the use of the web-based technology to educate the community. Special emphasis will be placed upon reaching underrepresented students through the use of their social connections and student groups.

West Virginia University

West Virginia University’s helpWELL program seeks to systematically develop and sustain a campus community that is committed to identifying and supporting students who are at-risk for suicide and other related mental health concerns. A comprehensive public health model will be implemented which utilizes and expands on current campus services to create a systematic suicide prevention program.Project Name: helpWELLPopulation to be served: The population to be served includes the entire student population of WVU (including but not limited to those with mental health concerns). At-risk groups will be targeted, including LGBTQ students, student veterans and family members of veterans, international students, and first-year students.

Strategies/Interventions: The helpWELL program’s proposed interventions include the following: 1) increasing collaboration among campus and community partners; 2) developing and implementing a comprehensive suicide prevention plan that involves training of individuals who potentially interact with at-risk students; 3) Developing social media and outreach programs regarding suicide, mental health issues, and stigma.

Project Goals: The goals of helpWELL are: 1) to improve the quantity and quality of prevention efforts through increased collaboration; 2) to increase the knowledge, awareness, and efficacy of faculty and staff that may interact with at-risk students; 3) to decrease stigma regarding suicide and mental health; 4) to increase the likelihood that students in distress will seek out treatment.

Measurable Objectives: Measurable objectives include: 1) documentation of all collaboration efforts that occur (e.g., task force meetings); 2) documentation of the number of individuals who receive training or educational programming; 3) outcomes assessment of all suicide prevention trainings; 4) analysis of students reached by the social marketing campaign.

Number of People to be Served Annually and Throughout the Lifetime of Project: The social marketing campaigns is designed to target the entire campus of approximately 30,000 students, 1,700 faculty members, and 3,400 staff members. We also hope to indirectly target the entire campus population through suicide prevention training for faculty, staff, and students.

West Valley College

ARISE: Advancing Resources & Information for Suicide (Prevention) & Education project will develop a comprehensive approach to preventing suicide among college students by fostering an empowered culture, enabling the campus community to maximize opportunities for collaboration and coordination of suicide prevention activities. The core goals of ARISE are to strengthen the college infrastructure and address gaps in order to create a safe environment that better supports students, fosters a sense of belonging, and promotes mental health and wellness as a crucial component of the pathway to college success.

West Valley College (WVC) serves approximately 11,000 students and employs 87 staff, 386 faculty, and 13 administrators. The Hispanic student population comprises over 19% of the student population. Asian students comprise the second largest ethnic population, with over 14%. Over 44% of the students are 20 -24 years of age. 12% of students are 19 years or younger. The college also has a large population of disabled students  totaling over 1800. 

Strategies to achieve project goals include: 

  1. Integrating suicide prevention training and activities to positively influence WVC culture and leadership;
  2. Utilizing a variety of media platforms to increase communication efforts to reduce stigma and support safe crisis intervention strategies;
  3. Increasing knowledge and awareness of the warning signs for suicide, and empowering individuals to respond to persons in crisis through the promotion of the national, veterans-focused, and local crisis hotlines; and
  4. Disseminating information to faculty regarding how to integrate consistent and safe messaging on suicide and mental health into curricula. Approximately 4000 faculty, staff and students will be served through trainings and events, and a viewership audience of 15,000 individuals will have listened to, read, or integrated suicide prevention and mental health messages over the course of three years.

Washington State University

With leadership from Health and Wellness Services and collaborative support across campus, Washington State University will develop and implement a strategic plan to promote mental health and prevent suicide. The project will result in implementation of a crisis response protocol, improved programs and procedures to address behavioral health disparities, increased gatekeeper training for faculty and staff, and increased programs for students.

Washington State University is a public, land-grant institution situated in rural Washington State. Annual enrollment is just over 18,000 students, about 30% of whom identify as multicultural. While serving the entire student population, this project will pay specific attention to addressing behavioral health disparities that exist within our multicultural and LGBT student communities. Other groups of priority interest are Veterans and their families and first- generation students.

Because of the size of the campus in relationship to the poor, rural city and county in which it is located, the University has developed extensive clinical services for students with a mental health provider to student ratio of about 1/1000. With historical focus on providing clinical care, it is time to move forward with plans to promote mental health and prevent suicide in a more broadly coordinated campus-wide effort.

Wartburg College

Wartburg College seeks to educate campus communities at small, rural colleges and universities about the risk factors and warning signs of suicide ideation among college students in an effort to fill gaps in service inherent to the limited campus and community resources these schools have and to create a mindset that suicide prevention is everyones responsibility.

Through the proposed program Suicide Prevention at Small, Rural Colleges and Universities Wartburg College seeks to take a three-fold approach to reducing suicide attempts and completions among college students:

  1. Identification and acquisition or development of culturally-relevant and culturally-sensitive educational materials for dissemination to the campus community with the objectives of increasing knowledge about the risk factors and warning signs of suicide ideation among college students and of reducing the stigma associated with help seeking;
  2. Planning and implementation of a series of educational seminars for the campus community with the objectives of increasing knowledge among key audiences in the campus community about the risk factors and warning signs of suicide ideation among college students and of reducing the stigma associated with help seeking; and
  3. Hosting a one-day seminar for representatives of peer institutions identified as small, rural college and universities in Iowa and surrounding states with the objective of sharing the information learned for grant activities at Wartburg College and increasing dialogue regarding suicide prevention.

The population to be served will be primarily the campus community of Wartburg College and those peer institutions whose representatives attend the one-day conference. The population indirectly served by the project will be the college students at risk of suicide who will receive intervention and help. This population will primarily include those in the 18-22 age range with a gender distribution fairly close to 50 percent each. Racially, the population served will be primarily Caucasian, with some representation of African-Americans, Asians, Hispanics, American Indian/Alaska Native and multiracial individuals. The project on Wartburg campus will serve approximately 250 employees and 1,800 students annually – 750 employees and 5,400 students over the life of the grant and approximately 5,000 employees and 50,000 students annually, 15,000 employees and 150,000 employees over the life of the grant on peer institution campuses.