Ohio Northern University

Garrett Lee Smith Campus

ONU is requesting funds to enhance infrastructure, awareness, and education related to mental health and substance use disorders on the ONU campus. These disorders can cause serious consequences including suicidal behavior, injury, or school failure. This project will enhance services in an effort to prevent mental and substance use disorders and increase help-seeking behaviors to protect ONU students and help students successfully complete their studies. ONU’s students, faculty, and staff is the population to be served, with an emphasis on LGBTQ, racial/ethnic minority, veteran, and athlete students. ONU has 3,088 students, 2,312 of whom are undergraduates. Of all students, 5% are international, 77% are white, 4% are African-American, 9% are of unknown race, and students of other races comprise under 3% each. ONU has 489 first-generation college students and 10 veterans receiving benefits, and the university hosts degree-seeking and exchange students from 23 countries. Unfortunately, ONU has seen an increase in

  1. Student of- concern referrals,
  2. the percentage of students presenting for counseling with suicidal ideations, and
  3. the number of ER visits and hospitalizations for suicide ideation, attempts, or substance use crises.

In 2016-17, 11% of the student body requested counseling services on campus. ONU’s GLS Project has three goals with nine objectives, in summary:


  1.  equip the campus to assist students at risk for mental health problems and/or suicidal behavior;
  2.  Increase protective factors in students;
  3.  increase collaborations with local behavioral health care providers and community stakeholders.

Objectives: increase awareness of mental and substance use disorders by 20%; increase the percentage of faculty and staff trained to respond effectively to students at risk of mental and/or substance use disorders over years two and three by 10% and 25%, respectively; increase the percentage of Residence Life student staff trained to respond effectively to students at risk of mental and/or substance use disorders by 75% and 100%, respectively; increase the number of outreach efforts on mental and substance use disorders by 10%; increase the percentage of students who complete mental and substance use disorder screenings by 25%; increase involvement with student organizations/groups by 25%; increase the number of activities on campus to educate students and reduce negative attitudes about mental and behavioral health disorders by 15%; increase student satisfaction rate of behavioral health care providers by 25%; and increase involvement with public and private entities trained in behavioral health care by 10%. It is estimated that 770 students will be reached each year.