South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
Garrett Lee Smith Campus
South Dakota

The goals of the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (School of Mines) suicide prevention plan are to decrease the stigma and barriers to help-seeking behaviors for mental/behavioral health issues and increase overall mental health among students, thereby aiding the successful completion of their studies. The plan features three major components:

Prevention Education, Gatekeeper Intervention Training, and Assessment and Treatment. These components are aimed at reducing risk factors and increasing protective factors as they relate to suicidality. Prevention Education includes seminars targeted to the student. Seminars will address the risk factors and protective factors in smaller groupings of students to maximize interaction and reinforce a social support structure. Prevention Education will also include the development and dissemination of informational materials that address the warning signs, risk factors, and protective factors of suicidal behavior as well as appropriate action steps for students to act upon for themselves or on behalf of fellow students. Informational material will also publicize a suicide hotline and be disseminated to students, students’ families and staff. Gatekeeper Intervention Training will address mental/behavioral health problems, risk factors and protective factors and will instruct in the implementation of the crisis response protocol. The final component is the development of an Assessment and Treatment/referral system. Assessment of mental health and suicidal risk will be achieved through the suicide prevention office and will include pre- and post-treatment evaluations.

During the first year of the grant program, gatekeeper training materials were developed by the project coordinator based on the QPR model. Key staff received the training with pre and post tests to assess learning. Baseline data was collected for student behaviors with the CORE Survey. The first quarter of the second grant year was spent preparing the prevention workshops and delivering them to residence hall students. Also the gatekeeper training was expanded to faculty. Student referrals to counseling Services were screened for depression with Beck’s Depression Inventory and tracked for progress.