Bowling Green State University

Empowering a Community
Garrett Lee Smith Campus

Empowering a Community: Creating a Culture of Care for Suicide Prevention, is Bowling Green State University’s (BGSU) comprehensive approach to suicide prevention. The project will develop initiatives to educate the campus about the warning signs of suicide, to empower them to intervene, to reduce stigma associated with help seeking behaviors, to promote a culture of shared responsibility for suicide prevention, and to increase awareness of resources for support.

BGSU enrolls nearly 18,000 students on its main campus in Bowling Green Ohio. The current student population encompasses students with permanent residences in 50 U.S. states and 70 other countries. 620 students are classified as international. Ethnic and racial minority students made up about 19 percent of the entering fall 2010 class, including 2,970 African-American, Native American, Hispanic, and Asian-Pacific Island students. 1,880 enrolled undergraduates are over the age of 25. Empowering a Community is designed to reach the entire student body as well as all employees of the University. Strategic marketing and program development will insure that all members of the campus are included in this project. Specific outreach to traditionally underserved and underrepresented groups (e.g. African American, Latino/a, Native American, Asian American, International, Veteran and LGBT students) will be conducted. In addition to social marketing, the project will employ both QPR and At-Risk to empower both students and employees to detect and intervene with students who may be experiencing psychological distress. The project will also seek to raise awareness on campus by taking a leadership role in forming more systemic campus partnerships with community based suicide prevention initiatives that already exist through the involvement of student groups, campus organizations, and administration.