Pace University Counseling Center NY serves its diverse campus population by providing a wide range of counseling services to meet the mental health needs of its students. The Counseling Center has developed expertise in addressing the academic, professional, and psychological concerns of a student population that is rich in cultural, ethnic, and identity diversity and plans to provide mental health education and outreach services to the larger community of New York City and our Westchester campus. Consequently, Pace University has implemented Project Outreach Prevention Education Network (OPEN), the goals of which are to:
- Develop a Multicultural Competence and Response Kit (MCRK) that will facilitate both didactic and self-study for the purpose of developing skill in crisis and suicide intervention with students from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds.
- Develop a network of active connections to the mental health units of New York-area hospitals. This network will be used to create additional student-competent mental health resources for the Pace community. It will also be used to disseminate in-service didactic trainings to sensitize hospital-based personnel to the unique psychological aspects of the college experience in the prevention of possible mental illness or the likelihood of suicide with students.
- Develop a Multicultural Competence and Prevention Kit (MCPK) that will provide the focal point of didactic trainings with other New York-area college and university mental-health units in fostering awareness, sensitivity, and education regarding the impact of such variables as stigma, discrimination, and hate crimes as these contribute to depression, anxiety, and thoughts of suicide within an education community.
- Advertise and integrate the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline information into first-year orientation and outreach with Pace University students, faculty, and staff.
- Develop both a brochure and a Counseling Center website-based program designed to address parents in promoting effective recognition of all of the following:
The signs and symptoms of psychological distress and the possible contemplation of suicide
The impact of stigma on preventing effective acknowledgement and utilization of mental health services
Other mental health aspects of the college experience
To date the MCRK and MCPK have been completed, trainings are underway, the parent website is live, and the brochure has been completed. Research is underway to assess incoming student mental health needs through surveying all first-year students.