George Washington University

George Washington University
Garrett Lee Smith Campus
District of Columbia

To meet the major challenge of reaching students at risk for suicide but unknown to campus mental health agencies, the George Washington (GW) Counseling Center proposes to empower students through a multidimensional awareness/educational campaign; to build a web of supportive and skilled faculty, staff and student leaders through comprehensive training/consultative programs; and to sustain a caring community through enhanced identification, referral, and emergency services. GW will engage existing resources across campus to create a multifaceted approach to reaching at-risk students. Multiple media will be used to permeate the campus community with constructive messages each semester. Repetition within poster, flyer, newspaper, radio and electronic billboard publicity will be designed to create a strong positive connection with University Counseling Center (UCC) services. Key faculty, academic advisors, university police, residential life staff, student service staff, and student leaders will be trained to recognize symptoms of students in distress, to respond skillfully and to refer appropriately those students to campus resources. The intention and hope of this proposal is to reach GW students by providing education about mental health issues, empowering a web of community members to identify and respond to students in need, encouraging and supporting these students in taking responsibility for their mental health care by accessing appropriate services, and strengthening campus services to address perceived needs. Evaluation of this suicide prevention project will focus on the impact of the proposed interventions, both in terms of number of individuals meaningfully served as well as new learning and behavior resulting from project interventions.