California State University Monterey Bay
The California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB) GLS Campus Suicide Prevention Project aligns with the Higher Education Mental Health Alliance’s belief that campuses can create a culture of caring through specific and continuous outreach and education. Establishing an infrastructure of prevention, identification, and risk reduction – through gatekeeper training, educational seminars, and materials – encourages shared responsibility to support students. This project serves all members of the campus community: students, staff, faculty, administrators, and family/supporters. This is done through collaboration with on- and off-campus stakeholders. All activities address the needs of the diverse and multicultural population at one of the youngest campuses in the California State University system. The current CSUMB student population identifies as 63% (4781) female and 37% (2835) male, with 6% self-identifying as African American, 7% as Asian American, 39% as Latino, 1% as Native American, 1% as Pacific Islander, 8% as two or more races, 32% as White, and 6% as other/decline.
Of the 918 undergraduate students participating in the Spring 2015 administration of the National College Health Assessment, 11.7% indicated that they had seriously considered suicide at least once in the previous 12 months (up from 8.6% in 2013) and 2.7% self-reported having made a suicide attempt (up from 2.3%). Fall 2015 data from the CSUMB Personal Growth and Counseling Center indicated 10 students were involuntarily hospitalized for suicidal ideation, while five made an actual suicide attempt within the previous year.
Throughout the lifetime of the project, 63 CSUMB community members will complete gatekeeper training: 18 in year one, 21 in year two, and 24 in year three. These individuals will serve as members of the Otter Support Network. By the end of the project, an additional 1920 individuals will participate in suicide prevention educational seminars – 320 per semester, 640 per academic year. Educational seminars will help break down negative attitudes, stigma, and barriers to help seeking for individuals in mental health crises. Suicide prevention and educational materials for family members and supporters will be developed and provided through a variety of methods, including supporter orientation, parent newsletters, websites, and social media.