Northeast Ohio Medical University

Northeast Ohio Medical University
Garrett Lee Smith Campus

This proposal aims to continue the development, implementation and evaluation of the Ohio Program for Campus Safety and Mental Health. This builds on work started in 2008 to create and support a statewide network to address campus safety and mental health, with a strong focus on suicide prevention, at all institutions of higher education in the state. Supported by Ohio’s SAMHSA funded Transformation State Incentive Grant (TSIG), this program is based at the Northeastern Ohio Universities Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy (NEOUCOM). The program’s specific approach has been to enlist partnerships between colleges and universities and their local mental health systems to maximize resources and to create partnerships in each local community. A statewide effort such as this, promoting partnerships between institutions of higher education and local public mental health systems are needed at this time of dwindling resources to assure that the needs of students at risk of suicide are addressed. Partial support to continue this program has already been provided by two local foundations.

The Ohio Program for Campus Safety and Mental Health will provide suicide prevention education and training for students, faculty and staff at Ohio’s college, university, community college and technical school campuses. Our target population is students and veterans returning to college. Our ultimate vision for this project is that all institutions of higher education in Ohio will have a comprehensive program that addresses the mental health needs of its students. This project supports that vision by supporting a structure for a coordinated statewide effort to reduce suicide risks on campus and promote mental health. The Program serves as a resource center and provides technical assistance to campuses and communities working on suicide prevention and campus mental health initiatives throughout the state. Activities for this project are to develop suicide prevention, mental health awareness and anti-stigma programs on Ohio’s campuses; to foster collaboration between campuses and local mental health systems as well as statewide collaboration of these partners; and to host state and regional educational trainings and seminars.

The primary purpose of this project is to expand upon existing efforts to establish a statewide coordinating center for campus safety and mental health. The goal of this project is to advance campus safety on college/university campuses by promoting mental health awareness and suicide prevention. Objectives are to: 1) promote the development of at least 10 educational and training programs on mental illness, suicide prevention, and stigma reduction that reach at least 1,000 campus stakeholders annually, or 3,000 over the project period; 2) provide technical assistance and resources to at least 10 communities to develop and sustain such programming; 3) address and overcome systemic barriers to mental health services on campuses through advocacy efforts at a state policy level; and 4) educate campus stakeholders and the general public through conferences in Years 1 and 3, each attended by at least 200 individuals and annual workshops attended by at least 50 campus and community stakeholders.