University of California – Irvine
The University of California Irvine proposes the establishment of Project COURAGE (Campus Opportunities Uniting Resources Around Giving Encouragement). The overall goal of Project COURAGE is to prevent suicide by promoting a campus norm that honors achievement and competition while encouraging and allowing students to seek support when it is needed. The project will initially target first-year students with increased education, screening, and support services. Consistent with the framework suggested by the Suicide Prevention Resource Center, the activities of Project COURAGE will strengthen and fill gaps in existing services to “expand the safety net” for students vulnerable to suicidal ideations. Activities will include the formation of Project COURAGE teams consisting of faculty, staff, and students who will be trained by clinical providers to assist in identification and referral of students at risk for suicide. Project staff will work with Better World Advertising to formulate and produce a social marketing campaign to support project goals. Clinical staff will also work to increase screenings for depression, substance abuse, and other mental disorders that put students at higher risk for suicide. Project materials will be distributed to parents through a quarterly Parents’ Newsletter and Parents’ Weekend programs. Staff will also attend trainings on Stress Management Prevention at the Harvard Mind/Body Medical Institute, in order to integrate their research on stress into the Project COURAGE work. Evaluation strategies include an annual online student survey designed to measure two outcomes: 1) First year students will report decreases in measures of poor mental health/depression (PMHD) and 2) First year students will report increased awareness and regard for campus mental health services.