Georgia Gwinnett College

Grizzlies Saving Lives! A GGC Campus Suicide Prevention Initiative
Garrett Lee Smith Campus

Grizzlies Savings Lives! A GGC Campus Suicide Prevention Initiative is designed to promote mental health wellness and help-seeking among Georgia Gwinnett College (GGC) students through multi-tiered outreach and partnership efforts. The strategies will include: (1) conducting the Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) Gatekeeper training; (2) showing the “Truth about Suicide video”; and (3) promoting the use of e-technology for mental health screening and resources.

Founded in 2005 as part of the University System of Georgia, GGC has experienced exponential growth over the last nine years. In fall 2014, GGC had a student population of 10,828, of which 60.1% are minorities. About 54.7% of the student population is female and 45.30% are male; 21% are non-traditional students; and 11% are veterans. Over 50% of GGC students have received Pell grants. GGC has 393 full-time faculty and 729 full-time staff members serving its student population. In 2014, the GGC reported two on-campus suicides and an increasing number of threats of suicide. GGC remains deeply committed to the health and wellbeing of its students and the GGC community with its limited resources and developing infrastructure.With additional funds from SAMHSA, the College will be able to fill the gaps in and enhance its suicide prevention efforts. Through this project, we plan to deliver training and program activities that are culturally sensitive to our diverse student population and the culture of the project’s target populations (first-generation, international, LBTQ, and veteran students). The goals and objectives of the strategies are as follows: The gatekeeper training will increase knowledge about signs of suicide, train participants to ask about suicide, and increase participants comfort in making a referral. By project’s end, we aim to certify approximately seven project staff on QPR Instruction and present QPR Gatekeeper training to about 300 faculty, student leaders, and staff. The outreach efforts for students aim to reduce stigma associated with mental health concerns and help create a culture of help-seeking. We aim to show a suicide prevention video in approximately 30 Choices for Life classes, show a suicide prevention video to students who reside in the resident halls, members of student organizations, coaches and student athletes. E-technology and an online screening tool will helpincrease students’ self-awareness of mood and have quick access to relaxation techniques and counseling resources through Relief Link and CollegeResponse. E-technology will help provide enhanced and sustainable resources on suicide prevention to the GGC community. A well-designed assessment plan will ascertain: (1) the extent to which we have achieved our goals and objectives; (2) the gaps, strengths, weaknesses, challenges, and barriers concerning our program, activity, and partnerships; (3) the impact and outcomes of our activities on our students and the target populations; and (4) any additional data needed to help us make more informed decisions.