Miami Dade College
Miami Dade College’s ASAP (Access to Suicide Awareness and Prevention) Program will provide suicide awareness and prevention activities across all eight of the college’s campuses, reaching its diverse population of more than 164,000 students. As the largest and most diverse college in the nation, Miami Dade College, located in Miami-Dade County, Florida, has designed the ASAP Program with the overall goal of preventing substance abuse and mental illness and reducing the risk of suicide attempts and completions. In its first year, through community collaborations, the program will create a network infrastructure that can meet the needs of students with behavioral health issues. In addition, a core group of 20 faculty and staff will be trained as QPR Gatekeeper Trainers. Through these two primary implementation year activities, a foundation will be established for the substantial scale-up of the program in following years. In the second year, over 15,000 students, their families, friends, and faculty and staff will be reached, including 400 faculty and staff who will receive gatekeeper training. An additional 15,000 persons will be reached in the program’s third year through the continuation of educational seminars, distribution of information, promoting the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, and campus-specific activities to raise awareness.
The ASAP Program’s objectives are to develop college-wide policies that support suicide prevention programs with a direct link to the College’s current behavioral threat assessment; reduce the stigma associated with mental health and behavioral health issues college-wide in a culturally competent manner and reaching special populations; and to promote help seeking among those at-risk, as well as increasing the knowledge base of the college community to facilitate awareness and early identification of mental and behavioral health issues. All of the program’s activities have been formulated to meet the needs of the commuter college aspect of Miami Dade College and to provide flexibility in implementation across the institution’s eight campuses, which each have a uniquely diverse student population makeup. By the end of the grant period, the ASAP Program will be fully sustainable and institutionalized for the benefit of future Miami Dade College students, their families, friends, and the overall community.