University of Texas Brownsville

The UTB/TSC Campus Suicide Prevention Program (CSPP) seeks to raise awareness of suicide as a critical but preventable issue while offering compassion and support to affected individuals. Through innovative training and collaborative partnerships, the CSPP educates key individuals on suicide indicators, prevention strategies, and intervention measures, assuring that at-risk students are connected with appropriate resources and treatment.

The University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College (UTB/TSC) is located on the border between Texas and Mexico, in Cameron County, and serves a traditionally under-served student population, which is largely Hispanic in ethnicity (92.6% as of fall 2010). While Hispanics constitute a clear majority, UTB/TSC students are diversified among a broad range of special populations including veterans; athletes; students with disabilities; international students; and gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, 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 addresses the numerous risk factors facing its target population through five goals which focus on implementing periodic training programs to educate relevant UTB/TSC faculty, staff, and students; on the identification and prevention of suicidal behaviors and appropriate intervention measures, outreach to students and their families, awareness campaigns that seek to de-stigmatize mental illness, and the development of collaborative partnerships with community-based mental health agencies.

Student Health Services (SHS) at UTB/TSC will be responsible for implementing the CSPP. The SHS clinic and administrative offices are centrally located on the main campus of UTB/TSC and are easily accessible to everyone, including students with disabilities. Through a contractual arrangement, SHS will provide specialized training, employing the QPR (Question, Persuade, and Refer) Model, to over 200 faculty, staff, and student leaders annually. The QPR, a standardized program used in schools throughout the nation as well as at the Department of Veterans Affairs, delivers a broad assessment and intervention strategy for addressing issues of suicidality on college campuses. In order to assess the efficacy of the CSPP, evaluation activities 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 Texas – Pan American

The University of Texas-Pan American Fear Not Project is a collaborative comprehensive suicide prevention project involving Enrollment and Student Services and Academic Affairs.

This project seeks to dramatically increase awareness among students, families, faculty and staff of the risk of suicide among UTPA students. It will train significant numbers of students, faculty and staff to Question suicidal individuals, Persuade them to accept help and Refer them to appropriate resources (QPR Suicide Triage). It will also train professionals who evaluate and treat potentially suicidal persons in suicide risk detection, risk assessment and risk management (QPRT). The ultimate goal of the Fear Not Project is to create a network of gatekeepers who have the ability to detect risk and refer students wherever and whenever they find themselves in crisis.

The Fear Not Project will utilize a tiered approach to (1) raise awareness among entering freshmen and their families, (2) train gatekeepers to identify and refer students at-risk and (3) mandate therapy for students identified as severely at-risk or in imminent danger of harm to self or others. This tiered approach will allow a significant allocation of resources to raise awareness and a directed approach to provide intensive assistance to those most in need.

University of Puerto Rico- Rio Piedras

The University of Puerto Rico- Rio Piedras Campus UPR-RP Suicide Prevention Program objectives are to: implement campus-wide protocols; train gatekeepers; systematically collect mental health data; develop a bilingual website with informational materials; network with suicide reduction partners on and off campus; promote Suicide Prevention Lifelines; increase awareness of suicidal risk factors and behaviors; and reduce stigma. The UPR-RP, located in the metropolitan area of San Juan, is the largest institution of higher education in Puerto Rico with 18,966 undergraduate and graduate students. Fall 2009 data shows a typical 99.7% of students are Hispanic, and on average half of all students receive financial aid each academic year. Suicide is the third leading cause of violent death for youth between 15 and 24 years of age in Puerto Rico. Studies have shown that approximately 20% of incoming freshmen at the UPR-RP report symptoms of depression and as many as 11% have had suicidal thoughts, making the need for a suicide prevention program at UPR-RP critical. The goal of the program is to develop an institutional, environmental, and individual comprehensive prevention strategy that will mitigate the risk of student suicide by addressing infrastructure, capacity building, awareness, and case management development. At the institutional level, the program targets changes in university policy through the establishment of a Crisis Response Protocol and a Suicide Prevention Plan. The environmental level will focus on capacity building and promoting awareness among 226 identified gatekeepers and personnel who provide mental health and counseling services to students. Direct service personnel training will cover effective assessment, referrals, and treatment delivery according to the suicide risks presented. Workshops for personnel will include the identification of early signs and symptoms associated with suicidal behavior, management of an emotional crisis, and appropriate referral practices. The program will target all university students with the creation and dissemination of informational materials, an informative webpage, and promotional campaigns. The individual level intervention will be directed toward the development of a standardized and empirically informed case management protocol, including assessment and basic guidelines for treatment through the counseling, psychological, and medical services available on campus. Expected measureable outcomes are the creation, implementation and dissemination of a suicide prevention university policy; increased networking among stakeholders on and off campus; increased identification and referrals of high-risk students; increased help-seeking behavior; and improved assessment and treatment procedures at counseling, psychological, and health service units. In terms of direct counseling services, the program expects to serve an average of 1,200 students annually (3,600 over three years) and to promote awareness among 2,800 students at freshmen orientation, 789 students in dorms, 300 student athletes, and 50 peer counselors.

University of Puerto Rico – Medical Sciences

Abrazo a la Vida (Embracing Life) is a suicide prevention collaborative program of the University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus (UPR-MSC) Women‟s Health Center with the Department of Psychiatry of the Campus School of Medicine, the student services of its six Schools, the Deanship of Student Affairs and other programs on campus; as well as with the Puerto Rico Foundation for Suicide Prevention and Research, and the Program for Crisis Intervention of the Puerto Rico Administration of Mental Health and Addiction Services (Puerto Rico Department of Health).
The long-term goal is to develop a collaborative suicide prevention education infrastructure within the campus using a multi-faceted approach including suicide prevention seminars, development of a student peer counseling program, and the development of a cross-campus Advisory Board on suicide prevention. Educational seminars will be culturally appropriate and focused on multiple campus stakeholders including students; faculty; psychiatric, counseling, and clinical staff; and auxiliary personnel such as security and maintenance.

The selected audience for this project is students enrolled in the six schools at the UPR-MSC, the health sciences academic campus of the University of Puerto Rico system. The 2010-2011 enrollment is 2,402 with the majority being female. The student population is aged from 18 to over 35 years of age, dominantly Hispanic, and has significant financial support such as subsidized student loans. Data from the 2010 National Alcohol Drug and Violence Survey (NADVS), administered on campus in alternate years, indicates 11.5% of responding females, and 7.2% of responding males had experienced suicidal behavior in the previous 12 months. Two of participating females indicated they had attempted suicide during this same time period. A majority of female respondents (55.8%) and 37.1% of males reported having experienced profound sadness and/or depression in the previous 12 months. Of those students reporting not drinking or using illegal drugs, 8% reported thinking about suicide while 9.1% of those reporting drinking or using illegal drugs think about suicide three or more times a week.

Through the educational seminars alone, we estimate that 1,620 members of the campus community will be served over the life of this funding period. Of these 55% will be members of the general student population, 16% of faculty, and 13% of auxiliary personnel. In addition, the program will support the development of a student peer-to-peer counseling program which will train 180 students in this process over the funding period. Annually, we anticipate serving 300 students, 72 auxiliary personnel, and 60 faculty members via educational seminars. Each year, 60 students will choose to participate in the student peer-to-peer counseling program. Additionally, we will constitute a campus-wide Advisory Board for suicide prevention activities and make all training and materials available to both the campus community and the community-at-large via the UPR-MSC website.

University of Puerto Rico – Cayey

The University of Puerto Rico at Cayey proposes a program to develop a comprehensive support network and college action plan for attending potential and serious cases of suicide. The focus of this program entails training through workshops and information materials for the campus body, in its informational aspect and a smaller number in direct services. Also, a comprehensive network strategy will be implemented through a crisis hotline and a referral program.

The UPR-Cayey, one of the 11 units of the Puerto Rico state university system, accepts only well-qualified students in the natural and social sciences, the humanities, education, and business administration. Although academically well-qualified, a large percentage of these students are academically unsophisticated. Many of them are first-generation college students, some from rural and semi-rural backgrounds, most of them low-income, and 90% from a seriously deficient public school system. This creates a situation of great stress for those who don’t immediately catch on to the college environment. Although extensive formal studies have not been undertaken, the sample of those attended by the part-time psychologist indicates that there is a high rate of depression and incipient mental and behavioral health problems in the group that leaves and even in the group that stays. Although suicide has not been a problem, per se, among the college’s student body, there is reason to believe that these conditions could easily lead to suicides later in life if these youngsters do not learn to deal with frustration and depression more effectively at this stage in their lives. One reason to think this is the very high rate of suicide, problem behaviors, and outright violence. Puerto Rican society, generally lauded for its human warmth, is also ironically characterized by one of the highest rates of alcohol consumption, domestic violence, homicides, and suicide under the American flag, and in some cases (alcohol consumption) in the world.

The project will be implemented over three years, beginning with a basic and direct approach, with training and preparation of inventories of resources, to the creation of more student-focused informational materials and more elaborate presentations, culminating in efforts to document success for institutionalization and replication. The expected results of the program calendar will be the guide to both process and outcome objectives to be assessed. The evaluation will include quantitative measures on how many individuals in each category were reached by the program’s efforts and qualitative measures on how they react.

Universidad del Turabo

The Campus Suicide Prevention Program at Universidad del Turabo (UT) will include three (3) main activities: (1) the development of a systematic training program for student’s organizational leaders, faculty, counselors, athletic coaches and security personnel; The development and implementation of an Institutional Crisis Response Plan, including networking infrastructure created to link the institution with health care providers from the external community; and, (3) Data collection of risk factors as identified by the administration of a validated screening test that will be used to develop statistics and informational material related to suicide and prevention strategies.

The purpose of the training program is to develop in institutional direct service personnel with the student population under 21 years of age the following:(1) increase the knowledge concerning mental health and behavioral conflicts; (2) strengthen the ability to recognize and identify high risk behaviors in freshmen students; and, (3) promote the ability to respond effectively and make the necessary referrals for direct services as appropriate. An additional training to administer a screening test will be given to a selected group of counselors, social workers and faculty of the Psychology Department and various units of the Office of the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs at UT.

The Institutional Crisis Response Plan will improve the current UT services for students with suicide ideations and attempts creating a formal process to attend campus suicide attempts. By establishing the community links with mental health care agencies, UT will be able to provide broader alternatives for student referrals.

Suicide on the UT campus remains a poorly understood event since statistics are limited, risk factors are diverse and more effective intervention techniques and research is needed. This project will permit data collection on suicide risk factors and the identification of effective institutional resources in suicide prevention management. This will also augment the opportunities for data collection among an Hispanic population that can be fully integrated into statistics compiled by the Suicide Prevention Evaluation Contractor of SAMSHA.

Informational material on suicide prevention and risk factors based on the statistical data generated will be prepared and distributed among UT students. The material will include mental and behavioral problems that can lead to depression, substance abuse, and suicide ideation or attempts. Also, plans and alternatives for accessing emergency care within the institution and the broader community will be provided.

Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico

The Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico (PCUPR) proposes the implementation of the On-Campus Suicide Prevention Program (OCSPP) at its Ponce Campus. The program will focus on the undergraduate students. CSPP will provide a variety of prevention efforts to increase awareness and knowledge on suicide prevention, enhance screening efforts and referral procedures, and enhance protocols and policies.OCSPP will be located at the Interdisciplinary Clinic for Community Services, the Pontifical Catholic Mental Health Clinic (ICCS). Founded in 1999 through an initiative of the College of Graduate Studies and Community Affairs, ICCS provides free clinical mental health services to institutional community members (students, faculty, and administrative staff). In addition, ICCS offers psychotherapy services to low income families of the Southern region of Puerto Rico.PCUPR UG enrollment is 6,171, 99% were born in Puerto Rico, their maternal language is Spanish; 72% are low income; 36% are 1st- generation college students; 345 are veterans; 461 students with disabilities; 91 foreign; their average age is 22. Most PCUPR students and employees come from urban Ponce and surrounding rural areas and municipalities.According to the CORE-PR Survey (2010) administered at PCUPR-Ponce Campus;16.1% and 18.4% male and female undergraduate students had suicidal thoughts; 41.7% male and 38% female reported loss of interest in daily activities; 60.2% and 70.2% male and female students reported lofty sadness or depression and 7.4% and 4.8% of male and female students reported suicidal attempts. From August 2009 to February 18, 2011, 416 PCUPR students received services at ICCS. 17% presented depression signs and 2% reported suicidal attempts. All of these students received psychotherapy services and/or were referred to psychiatric evaluations according with their symptoms.OCSPP will mainly address SAMHSA strategic initiatives (1) Prevention of Substance Abuse and Mental Illness; (3) Military families; and (8) Public Awareness and Support. Emphasis will be given in the following areas: a) enhance adequate institutional capacity, b) enforce linkages between on and off campus services, c) increase the number of students who will seek services, and d) promote a change of attitudes toward suicide prevention. The components of the suicide prevention program will be examined on how effective are on reducing suicide rates and raise awareness on suicide prevention. This will be done through a well-coordinated interdisciplinary team of members of the University Family (students, faculty, and administrative staff) with the support of outside collaborators.

Nova Southeastern University

The Nova Southeastern University (NSU) EPIC (Expansion of Prevention Initiatives Off-Campus) project seeks to implement a web-based training format that will include PowerPoint slides, narration, and dramatic video vignettes. The project will benefit faculty and students at NSU’s Student Education Centers (SECs) throughout Florida, as well as students involved exclusively in online education efforts. The goal is to create a human safety net that extends to the entire NSU community, providing training that explains the prevalence of student suicide, details the warning signs, and demonstrates how to help suicidal students access crisis and longer-term mental-health resources. The program will reach approximately 10,000 on-campus students, 6,000 graduate and undergraduate students who attend one of the six SECs, and the 10,000 students who study online within Florida and from other states. The newly developed web-based suicide prevention programs will be made available through an online virtual learning environment utilized for mandatory faculty training and student coursework. The EPIC Project goals are to: (1) improve the identification and referral of at-risk students at the SECs across Florida; (2) increase awareness of suicide risk and protective factors and reduce the stigma associated with help-seeking behaviors among students attending classes at the these SECs; and (3) increase awareness of suicide risk and protective factors and reduce the stigma associated with help-seeking behaviors among students completing online degree programs.

New Mexico Highlands University

New Mexico Highlands University (NMHU) is a state-supported coeducational institution and a federally designated Hispanic-serving institution in northern New Mexico. The NMHU Campus Suicide Prevention (CSP) Project will serve the 2,399 multi-ethnic students, median age 23, enrolled at the main campus in Las Vegas. Many NMHU students come from geographic areas and socioeconomic backgrounds that put them at risk for mental and behavioral health problems linked to suicide.

All six CSP activities will be included in a comprehensive approach. The NMHU CSP Project is a public health approach to collaboration among the university and the Sangre de Cristo Community Health Partnership (SDCCHP) and the New Mexico Suicide Intervention Project (NMSIP). Results of our comprehensive approach and assistance to the NMHU community will enhance attitudes and abilities for effective efforts and services for students with mental and behavioral health problems, such as depression and substance abuse that put them at risk for suicide and suicide attempts.

The project will utilize participatory and collaborative methods of evaluation which have proven successful as an element of larger community and system change.

Humboldt State University

“HSU CAMPUS CONNECT SUPPORT NETWORK” or the “HSU SUPPORT NET” builds essential capacity and infrastructure to expand wellness promotion and help-seeking of all students at Humboldt State University (HSU), while providing targeted support for Latina youth, American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN), LGBT students, and student veterans and dependents, serving 8500 individuals annually, and 20,000 throughout the lifetime of the project. HSU SUPPORT NETWORK includes these goals and related strategies/interventions:

1) develop training materials that can be added to Campus Connect, QPR, Mental Health First Aid, or any gatekeeper training program that helps to prepare campus stakeholders across constituencies to respond following a campus suicide in a way that reduces the risk of contagion;
2) build essential capacity among our health and wellness staff in the area of suicide prevention, including the ability to deliver “Campus Connect” gatekeeper suicide prevention trainings along with a brief 15-20 minute postvention addition in campus-wide trainings – it is expected this will increase the number of people in the mental health and related workforce trained in mental health-related practices/activities as a result of the grant;
3) build awareness of issues affecting highly vulnerable populations and capacity among our health and wellness staff to deliver campus-wide intergroup dialogue trainings that reduce negative attitudes towards seeking care for mental and substance abuse disorders and encourage a sense of belonging with attention to intersecting identities including race, gender identity, sexual orientation, veteran-status, and disability-status;
4) with the help of a Prevention Specialist build essential capacity across campus through ongoing training of faculty, staff, residence hall advisors, and student leaders, using the Campus Connect model, in the identification of vulnerable students, including those experiencing substance abuse and mental health problems, and which promotes linkage to on-campus resources – it is expected this will increase the number of individuals who have received training in prevention or mental health promotion;
5) increase direct outreach to identified vulnerable students, including those experiencing substance abuse and mental health problems;
6) increase awareness of services, warning signs, and educate campus about referral techniques to on-campus services and promote linkage to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and Trevor Project through campus-wide messaging;
7) reduce the use of tobacco on HSU’s campus through campus-wide psychoeducation and social-norms marketing;
8) create a network infrastructure to link HSU with health care providers from the broader community, and improve connections between existing services on campus – it is expected that this effort will increase the number of organizations collaborating/coordinating/sharing resources with other organizations as a result of the grant;
9) disseminate developed suicide postvention training materials and the results of our evaluation of programs for public use by other institutions of higher education to aid others in further building capacity and increasing prevention.