The Comprehensive Campus Suicide Prevention (CCSP) project for Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania is designed to increase student, faculty, and staff awareness of suicide risk factors and signs of potential suicidal behavior in university students. The program will be directed at providing a wide range of educational programs for students, staff, faculty, and families of students as well as increased promotion of the available resources to help those students in need of help. Peer support programs will be developed with mechanisms such as telephone support and on-line support made available to help students’ suffering from emotional problems or from situational/maturational crises. The program will be used to enhance and augment the current services available on the university campus, such as the campus Counseling Center, Student Health Services, and NAMI-on-Campus programs. It has long been recognized that many students do not actively seek help for mental health issues due to stigma, lack of knowledge, etc.
Our hope is that by initially preparing a core group of faculty, staff, and students trained as trainers in suicide prevention, we will then be able to conduct multiple educational offerings on campus through a wide variety of venues such as general education values classes, university seminars, freshmen orientation programs, faculty development programs, trainings for residence hall advisors and leaders of student organizations, etc. The primary goal of the project will be to educate everyone on campus (students, faculty, and staff) regarding suicide risk factors, ways to help the suicidal student access help, and provide support to both the individual who is engaging in self-destructive behaviors as well as for those who are trying to help. In addition, a more detailed suicide response plan will be developed for the university outlining the steps that need to be taken when a student is displaying behaviors indicative of suicide as well as what to do in the case of a suicide attempt or completed suicide. The plan will also address plans for post-suicide intervention services that will be used to help students, faculty, staff, etc. in the event of a completed suicide.
The CCSP will strive to incorporate the involvement of services and support from community agencies in and around Bloomsburg University, including The Bloomsburg Hospital which has a 20-bed inpatient mental health unit, CMSU Columbia/Montour/ Snyder/Union County Mental Health-Mental Retardation) program, NAMI- on-Campus, the local Mental Health Association, local providers of psychological and counseling services, as well as, the university’s psychology and social work clubs and student nurses association. Outreach to areas in and surrounding the campus where students congregate such as local bars/restaurants, etc. will be part of the plan, as well.