Orange County Community College

Project Up! at SUNY Orange
Community College
New York

Project Up! at SUNY Orange is a comprehensive suicide prevention program designed to increase awareness and promote the use of mental health services. The program targets all 7,223 college students   and 1,100 faculty/staff members and will targeted selected at-risk populations. The goal is to create an informed and alert campus population to help lessen the risk of student suicide and other self-destructive behaviors. The approach will be comprehensive and will coordinate with existing campus- and county-based programs for the following high-risk groups: students with disabilities, substance abusers, and those who are either low-income, first-generation, underprepared, and/or experiencing cultural dislocation. Special attention will be directed toward returning veterans or their relatives, and students of LGBT orientation.The project will 1) Increase Awareness and Reduce Stigma, 2) Broaden Expertise and Cultural Competence, and 3) Increase the Social Support Networks for Targeted At-Risk Populations. The goals will be achieved through the integration of suicide prevention information into existing orientation programs, special trainings, the distribution of literature (print and online); the establishment of peer support networks; and through partnerships with the Orange County Department of Mental Health and the Hudson Valley LGBTQ Community Center. The AVP for Enrollment Management will serve as the Director of Project Up! Oversight will be provided by an Advisory Council comprised of representatives from all college departments involved in mental health, including the VP for Student Services, Director of Advising and Counseling, Director of Student Health Services, Director of Student Support Initiatives, the Disability Specialist, and the OC Mental Health Support Specialist. The external project partners will also sit on the Advisory Council. The college will hire a part-time program coordinator and a part-time technician to assist with grant execution, data collection and reporting requirements.Grant activities will run from September 2011 through September 2014. Year 1 will build general awareness. Year 2 will target at-risk populations and year 3 will ensure future program sustainability. By September 2014, the program will have: 1) created a campus environment that is 100% informed about suicide prevention, 2) established peer support groups that meet regularly, 3) institutionalized an ongoing literature program, 4) promoted the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, and 5) developed a centralized system of tracking and analyzing mental health data for the purpose of better aligning college services with student needs. The project expects to serve 5,000 individuals each year for a combined project total of 15,000.