Marshall University

Garrett Lee Smith Campus
West Virginia

Marshall University Suicide Prevention Education Across Campus (MU-SPEAC) program is a collaborative approach between multiple academic and campus departments, including: Social Work, Psychology, Counseling, Public Health, Nursing, Physical Therapy, the School of Pharmacy, Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, Counseling Center, MU Wellness Center, Office of Veteran’s Affairs, Behavioral Health and Psychology Clinic, LGBTQ Office, Women’s Center, Office of Student Conduct, MU INTO Program, University Residence Halls, Student Support (first generation support), and the Athletic Department. MU-SPEAC will create a comprehensive public health approach to assist individuals at risk for suicidal behavior and to create a safer campus community. The program will also partner with state and community organizations that provide behavioral health support and suicide prevention education. MU-SPEAC will create a campus Advisory Team to provide education and services to prevent suicide among Marshall students. ALL MU students, including specific targeted populations (veterans, athletes, individuals who identify as LGBTQ, first generation, freshmen, medical students, professional groups and other at-risk groups) will be the population served by the programs and services provided in this grant. The taskforce will be comprised of campus and community stakeholders, including students. MU is a multi-campus, public university that provides undergraduate and graduate education to 13,000 students in West Virginia. MU-SPEAC is a public health approach that will consist of developing and providing culturally sensitive training to teach staff and faculty the necessary skills to provide evidence-based screening and intervention for individuals who are at risk for suicidal behavior and other related risk factor behaviors, such as substance misuse. This public health approach will target students at the universal, selective, and indicated levels. Universal strategies will target the entire MU student body to increase population based health and prevention. Specific programs at the level will include: education, gatekeeper training, awareness activities, social marketing, and working to increase help-seeking behavior, while decreasing stigma. Selected populations who have been shown to be at risk for suicide behavior, mental health concerns, and substance misuse will be targeted with suicide prevention strategies. Finally, MU-SPEAC will provide targeted clinical and prevention strategies toward Indicated groups on campus. These will be students who have made a suicide attempt, are in treatment for depression and anxiety, express suicidal thoughts/ideation and plans, are survivors of loss due to suicide, are recovering from substance misuse, and who are survivors of loss due to substance misuse. The MU-SPEAC grant will provide a collaborative framework to develop and implement a comprehensive public health approach using evidence-based programs and practices to address suicide on Marshall University’s campus.