Metropolitan State University

Metropolitan State University’s Suicide Prevention Initiative
Garrett Lee Smith Campus

Metropolitan State University, an urban institution with a nontraditional adult student body, proposes to broaden and deepen partnerships with external resources and prepare and engage the university’s many internal stakeholders in suicide prevention. Through messaging, training and educational programming, faculty, students and staff will learn what resources are available and what they can do if they experience a crisis or know someone in crisis.

Metropolitan State serves a nonresidential student body with large numbers of adults, first generation college students, students of color, immigrants and refugees, low income people and other underrepresented at-risk populations, including veterans, people with disabilities and LGBTQA students. The single largest institutional barrier to effective suicide intervention services is the distributed campus environment. The University offers classes at four campuses and 20 other locations spread across the Twin Cities metropolitan area; and many classes are offered during evening and weekend hours. Many students rarely, if ever, come to the University’s main campus in St. Paul where its Student Counseling Services and other support services are available during regular business hours. Moreover, the University does not have a student health service.

The proposed project will include the following:

  1. In collaboration with on-campus and off-campus partners, strengthen the University’s crisis response plan, including emergency psychiatry, follow-up care, and training of key personnel so as to enhance the University’s overall capacity to identify and meet the needs of students at risk of suicide, in a timely manner.
  2. Involve the campus community in training, educational workshops, and shared information to reinforce the message that suicide is everyone’s responsibility.
  3. Increase the number of staff, faculty and student leaders who have received gatekeeper training.
  4. Provide educational workshops provided to students, faculty and staff on suicide prevention, risk factors for suicide, and protective factors for suicide.
  5. Increase the cultural competency within the University community in responding to students in populations at risk for suicide, including LGBTQ, Veterans, students of color, immigrants, refugees and international students, first generation college students, and students with disabilities.
  6. Increase the quality, quantity and distribution of informational resources to educate on suicide factors, protective factors, available resources, and addressing barriers to seeking services for at risk students.