University of Central Florida

Healthy Knights 2020
Garrett Lee Smith Campus

The University of Central Florida (UCF) Healthy Knights 2020 initiative proposes to promote a cohesive campus-wide environment supportive of the development and maintenance of a healthy body,  mind , and  spirit  in  order  to  decrease  the  occurrence  mental  health  issues  that  lead  to  suicide.  Currently  the  UCF  campus  has  several  options  for  students  to  receive  health,  mental  health, and behavioral health services; however, following a pivotal on-campus suicide incident in 2013 the University recognized different areas of suicide prevention in need of improvement.

The purpose of the Healthy Knights 2020 program is to expand efforts to promote wellness and help-seeking  of  all  students  and  provide  specific  outreach  to  vulnerable  students  such  as  veterans,  the  LGBTQ+  community,  and  those  suffering  from  co-occurring  disorders.  The  program promotes a comprehensive approach to assess the health status and needs of the campus community by expanding the current infrastructure and capacity to close the current gaps in care. The Healthy Knights 2020 Program will provide services to 500 unduplicated students per year, for a total of 1500 over the three-year award period. The program goals include: 1) developing a crisis  response  plan  that  encompasses  not  only  the  UCF  campus  community  but  the  greater  Orlando  community  which  includes  linkage  to  the  National  Suicide  Prevention  Lifeline;  2)  increasing awareness of suicide risk factors such as depression and substance abuse, the warning signs,  and  prevention  strategies  and  resources  specifically  for  our  high  risk  populations  such  a  LGBTQ+,  students  with  co-occurring  substance  abuse  and  mental  health  issues  and  student  veterans   through   gatekeeper   trainings;   3)   providing   information   on   suicide   prevention,   identification, and reduction of risk factors, such as depression and substance abuse, promoting help seeking, and reducing the negative attitudes towards seeking care for mental and substance use  disorders;  4)  creating  brochures  and  PSAs  specific  to  UCF  and  its  community  to  help  increase the awareness of suicide prevention; and 5) become a member of the Jed Foundations, The  Campus  Program.  The  objectives  of  Healthy  Knights  2020  are  to  implement  training  and  postvention procedures in the unfortunate event that a student completes a suicide; increase the number of gatekeeper trainers and accessibility to information online; strengthen peer education and  various  resiliency  programs;  increase  awareness  through  various  marketing  strategies  and  improvement in addressing mental health, substance abuse and suicide prevention programming.

The University of Central Florida (UCF) is the second largest institute of higher learning in the nation  enrolling  approximately  61,000  undergraduate,  graduate  and  professional  students  on  eleven campuses in the Central Florida area. Although the projects put forth in this proposal will impact the entire campus community, a sub-population for this project will specifically focus on faculty and staff as they are often right on the front line of recognizing students in distress.