Syracuse University

Syracuse University
Garrett Lee Smith Campus
New York

Syracuse University has been increasingly concerned with the serious and diverse mental and behavioral health problems among its students. The belief that student isolation and difficulty in tolerating emotional distress significantly contribute to these mental health difficulties have prompted our Center to develop two specific prevention programs with the support of the SAMHSA grant: 1) Campus Connect Gatekeeper Training workshop and 2) Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction educational seminars.

Our gatekeeper training workshop is a three-hour experientially based crisis intervention and suicide prevention training program. In Year 1 of our grant, we have trained and assessed all of our Residence Life staff (250), and our Health Services staff (50). Outcome studies to date are evidencing highly significant results. Satisfaction surveys are quite positive. As a result of our preliminary success, several other colleges and universities have requested training in the implementation of our model.

Our Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Seminar series has also met with success. Thus far, we have offered three eight-week seminars to over 80 students. Preliminary outcome results evidence significant results and students completing the course are overwhelmingly positive with regard to its affect on their ability to tolerate emotional distress.

In addition to our specific programs, we have also begun a campus wide social marketing campaign with posters and public service radio announcements aimed at de-stigmatizing the need for mental health services and increasing awareness and visibility of our Counseling Center.