Trinidad State Junior College

Trinidad State Junior College
Community College

Trinidad State Junior College (TSJC), established in 1925, is a comprehensive, Hispanic-serving two-year rural community college in Colorado. TSJC is proposing the Suicide Prevention Outreach and Education (SPOE) Project to address the need for suicide prevention, education, and unified referral among a rural eight-county region of Southern Colorado. The college student population is 38 percent Hispanic and 42 percent minority. The target population includes students aged 16–25, education staff and faculty, and community gatekeepers including health and mental health providers. These populations encompass a broad spectrum of students and professionals in the education, health, and mental health arena. It is the intent of the SPOE to develop and coordinate a multipronged effort intended to positively impact the region. The SPOE Project goals include: develop a coordinated and knowledgeable suicide prevention network coalition infrastructure among mental health, high school, college, and community gatekeepers in the region; develop social marketing campaigns to destigmatize mental disorders and increase help-seeking behavior among students by offering activities and materials to at least 800 students; and provide training for at least 50 faculty, staff, and administrators to increase the number of trained gatekeepers in the community. To meet these objectives, the TSJC SPOE Project has attended regional network coalition meetings, hosted gatekeeper trainings, and developed and implemented an education and destigmatization campaign to provide training for identification of suicide at-risk behaviors and intervention strategies. TSJC and Spanish Peaks Mental Health Services in partnership with regional high schools in Huerfano, Las Animas, and six San Luis Valley counties identified the need for a suicide prevention, education, and outreach program to build unified, effective, and sustainable suicide prevention and mental health awareness infrastructure through campus-based education and outreach.