Montana State University

Outreach and Suicide Prevention at Montana State University
Garrett Lee Smith Campus

Through the proposed project, Outreach and Suicide Prevention at Montana State University, Counseling & Psychological Services (CPS) at Montana State University in Bozeman, MT, will expand and enhance suicide prevention training/resources and preventive programming currently provided to the MSU community. CPS and grant staff will work collaboratively with campus stakeholders to create a comprehensive plan for suicide prevention and mental health programming.

Despite best efforts to provide gatekeeper training, awareness of mental health resources, and preventive programing, MSU has still experienced approximately 30 serious suicide attempts or gestures in the last three years, and lost 9 students to suicide.

For the past thirty years, Montana has ranked in the top five for nationwide suicide rates in all age groups, and suicide is currently the second leading cause of death among people between the ages of 15 and 34. At Montana State University, 60% of our student population is made up of Montana residents, and the majority of students are between the ages of 15 and 34. Furthermore, MSU has a substantial number of students who belong to groups who are statistically at greater risk for suicide, including: American Indians, LGBTQIQ students, veterans and their families, and males. While some students from these groups engage in services at CPS, many at-risk we students may not know about the services offered at CPS, or may prefer to reach out to others in the community (peers, campus leaders, faculty, or other staff). CPS will use grant funding to more widely publicize suicide prevention resources, as well as educate the campus community about risk factors for suicide and how to respond effectively to at-risk students.

MSUs team of psychologists and public health experts will utilize funds provided by SAMHSA’s Campus Suicide Prevention Grant to 1) certify 16 additional QPR Trainers; 2) maintain current online mental health screenings to screen 400 individuals for anxiety, depression, PTSD, eating disorders, and substance abuse; 3) Add online suicide prevention training programs and purchase QPR materials to train 900 new students, faculty, staff, and parents as gatekeepers; 4) collaborate with the existing Suicide Prevention Task Force to create suicide prevention/response protocol and to enact a comprehensive plan for suicide prevention as recommended by the Jed Foundation and Suicide Prevention Resource Center; 5) launch a comprehensive marketing strategy to publicize and promote prevention efforts and mental health education/awareness; 6) provide prevention programming to 600 individuals, including 120 Native Americans, 80 veterans, 40 LGQTQ individuals, 150 fraternity/sorority life members, 300 international students, 60 student athletes, and 600 men.