City College of New York
The CCNY Suicide Prevention Project increases campus awareness of mental health problems, provides well-publicized mechanisms of referral, and integrated emergency and non-emergency approaches to suicide prevention as the college transitions to being partly-residential.
Psychological evaluations, risk assessment, and crisis intervention, will be offered at the residence hall on a walk-in basis and students identified as at risk will be actively responded to by clinicians and residence life staff. As a public, non-residential, commuter college of 12,000 students with a series of rigorous academic programs that attract high-achieving students of meager financial resources and ethnically and socio-economically diverse backgrounds, CCNY students face more pervasive stressors than most undergraduate institutions. Demographically, they are also less like1y to be diagnosed and treated for mental hea1th problems. Statistic& at the two campus mental health clinics indicate increasing rates of severe mental illness, depression, suicidal ideation, and serious plan and intent to commit suicide. In the past five years one CCNY student committed suicide at her home. CCNY students demonstrate significant, increasing need for psychological support. The presence of full-time residential students who will rely on the college for support make it imperative that CCNY develop a comprehensive response to student mental health needs to prevent campus suicide. The CCNY suicide prevention project comprises five interventions: the Crisis Response System that provides a protocol for immediate response to students who pose significant risk to themselves or others; the First Response Team, which is an residence hail screening clinic that provides evaluations to students on a walk in basis where their psychosocial needs are assessed, a psychological evaluation is administered, and where clinicians collaborate with the student to find an appropriate plan for ongoing support from psychological and social support services on campus and in student communities; Outreach Alert Workshops train residents and staff to recognize symptoms of mental and behavioral problems and refer them to support systems; the Student Monitoring System, is composed of members of the campus community trained to recognize and respond to students at risk of mental health problems whose referrals elicit active response by clinical or Residence Life staff to engage the student for support. Campus-wide campaigns will publicize the First Response Team and de-stigmatize mental health services.