California State University Sacramento

HOPE (Hold Onto Positive Emotions)
Garrett Lee Smith Campus

Sacramento State aims to reduce and ideally prevent campus suicide through Be Well,its comprehensive Suicide Prevention and Mental Wellness campaign. Be Well aims to create a culture of wellness that integrates many currently disconnected services, and to continually assess and enhance that culture. Mental health professionals, faculty, staff, and students will learn to identify and intervene with students at risk for suicide and other mental health issues.

This inaugural suicide prevention and mental wellness program will serve a primary population consisting of the University 29,000 enrolled students, a secondary population consisting of instructional faculty and direct-service staff members, and a tertiary population consisting of students, families and support networks. The co-directors of Be Well, the Vice President for Student Affairs (VPSA) and the Director of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) have worked with a cross-divisional grant planning committee to identify the three overarching goals that will guide the work of this project.

The projects first goal is to deliver a campus-wide suicide prevention and mental wellness campaign that increases awareness and use of on-and-off-campus resources. Its second goal is to implement a robust gatekeeper training program that trains and familiarizes general and targeted audiences in suicide prevention awareness, intervention, and referral. Third, Be Well will create a suicide prevention web presence that all students, as well as their support networks, can easily locate and access.

The co-directors will chart the progress of each goal by monitoring the degree to which action plans have been put in place and outcomes have been achieved. Specific action plans are described in the project narrative but in general, these plans aim to accomplish several critical outcomes in each year of the grant funding.

First, during year one of the grant, Be Well will increase awareness of the suicide prevention and mental wellness services available to students, including the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. As a part of that outreach, the program intends to reduce the stigma of seeking help via a peer-to-peer marketing campaign. Additionally, the campus will begin a mental health survey program that will screen users of the health center for risk factors related to suicide. Second, by year two, grant funding will support a case manager position who will coordinate the ongoing gatekeeper training program. This gatekeeper training will focus first on advisors who work with groups identified as at-risk by the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention and later on a broader group of faculty, staff and student leaders. Finally, in year three, CAPS will implement accessible suicide prevention web resources for students and their support networks. Many of these outcomes will occur concurrently, and all will be ongoing and sustainable after their implementation.