Link for Life is a multidisciplinary collaborative effort of Marquette University faculty, staff, and administration. The program will focus on the issues of suicide and those mental health issues that impact suicide by providing suicide prevention training and education to staff and the general student body, as well as parents. Further, Link for Life will teach these individuals, as well as first responders, how to respond to people in a suicidal crisis.
As concerned university and community members, we recognize that suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students (retrieved May 10, 2006 from www.jedfoundation.org) and that many of these students do not get the necessary suicide prevention information. Although we value the goals and objectives of crisis intervention work, we realize that this alone will not educate the larger campus community or prevent further suicides. Therefore, the following goals and activities are proposed.
The chief purpose of Link for Life is to reduce suicidal behavior and ultimately save the lives of our students. The specific goals of this project are: 1) To raise awareness, across campus and among parents, about suicide among young people and to increase knowledge about mental illness, as well as the etiology, risk factors, and warning signs of suicide. 2) To use a nationally recognized suicide prevention model (Question, Persuade, Refer [QPR]) to train Gatekeeper Trainers who will provide QPR training to members of the campus and local communities, including first responders, students, and mental health providers. An emphasis will be placed on creating links within the campus community so that an individual faced with someone in a suicidal crisis knows the campus and community mental health resources well enough to make appropriate referrals to trained professionals. 3) To enhance partnerships between the university and its students, as well as community mental health providers. Link for Life is designed to decrease the stigma associated with mental illness and suicide by inviting the entire campus community and local community health and mental health provides to take an active role in suicide prevention. 4) To review existing intervention efforts employed on other campuses. Marquette University will use the information to develop appropriate policy and procedures, suited to this campus, that reflect best practices and standards of care in the area of suicide prevention. 5) To extensively evaluate the project under the guidance of a Project Evaluator to ensure the activities are as effective as possible and to reduce the potential loss of lives.