Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services

The CT Campus Suicide Prevention Initiative (CCSPI)
Garrett Lee Smith State

The CT Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services in partnership with state agencies, the CT VA, universities and behavioral health providers will collaborate to bring sustainable evidence-based, suicide prevention and mental health promotion policies, practices and programs to scale at institutions of higher education statewide for students up to age 24. A total of 8,715 students will receive screening, brief interventions and mental health services over three years. The CT Campus Suicide Prevention Initiative (CCSPI) will build campus infrastructure to enhance suicide prevention efforts and linkages to existing systems of care including CTs Military Support Program and behavioral health providers to address recommendations identified in the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention, CT Comprehensive Suicide Prevention Plan, and the CT Youth Suicide Advisory Board (YSAB) recommendations for this population. The CCSPI will also build on the work of the YSAB and the infrastructure developed through DMHAS’s previous cohort 2 Garrett Lee Smith Grant. The YSAB will serve as advisory to the CCSPI, providing feedback and guidance to staff and partners, ensuring that the initiative addresses the needs of the students and satisfies the requirements of the federal grant. The project will enhance the breadth and scope of behavioral health services provided through CT’s Statewide Healthy Campus Initiative (CSHCI). The CSHCI is comprised of over 30 institutions of higher education, state government officials, and community organizations whose mission is to serve as a catalyst for creating and sustaining healthy campus and community environments.

The CCSPI, will use SAMHSA’s Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF) and the national Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC)/JED Foundation’s Comprehensive Approach to Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Promotion to enhance the number of colleges statewide with infrastructure and evidenced-based services for students at risk. Through training and technical assistance, campuses will develop and expand a continuum of suicide prevention services and increase the number of students who are referred to and receive mental health services. Students served will include, but not be limited to, those with mental health needs veterans, active duty military personnel and members of their family, students of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) orientation, Latina, and those who are survivors of suicide attempts and bereaved by suicide. Funded campuses will work with DMHAS and the SPRC to assess gaps in services and identify evidence-based strategies appropriate for their unique campus needs. Campus personnel, peer educators and student organizations and cultural centers, will be engaged to participate in related health and wellness strategies. The UCHC will conduct a process and outcome evaluation of the proposed initiative through documenting and assessing statewide and campus level infrastructure and suicide prevention interventions, and will work with staff to ensure that all national cross-site evaluation requirements are met.