University of Hawaii at Hilo
The University of Hawaii at Hilo Suicide Prevention Grant serves a widely diverse student body that reflects multicultural Hawaii. Targeted sub-populations of students are those at high risk for depression and suicide, such as veterans, LGBTQI students, Native Hawaiians, students with disabilities, and students who stigmatize mental health help. Our semester-long workshops train peers from these targeted groups how to identify, support, and refer students in distress. The goal of this grant project is to prevent suicide and improve the mental health of UH Hilo students through a peer-to-peer health education and support network and through improved communication networks and knowledge among key staff and gatekeepers who come in contact with students needing mental health interventions.
The project objectives are as follows: through collaboration with existing leaders of UH Hilo to (1) develop high-quality, culturally relevant training materials for student peers and seminar materials for gatekeepers; (2) develop seminar materials for family members of high risk students to be presented at semester Orientation Programs; (3) recruit students from targeted at-risk populations to attend the semester-long workshops as part of their student employment; (4) recruit volunteer students for introductory two-hour training workshops from other student populations; (5) reduce the stigma of seeking mental health assistance; (6) increase early intervention in student mental health issues by referrals from peers; (7) increase overall utilization of campus mental health services and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline; and (8) increase utilization of campus mental health services in the targeted high risk student populations. Measurable outcomes include (1) development of a culturally-tailored 12-hour comprehensive semester-long peer mental health education curriculum; (2) development of a culturally-tailored two-hour introductory peer mental health education curriculum; (3) over three y ears, the recruitment and training of 200 students in the 12-hour comprehensive semester-long mental health curriculum; (4) over three years, the recruitment and training of 200 students in the two-hour introductory peer mental health education curriculum; (5) an overall increase in student utilization rates of campus mental services of at least 10% in three years; (6) an increase in utilization rates of campus mental health services of at least 5% per year for targeted student groups; and (7) improved strategies for intervention that are supported by a majority of gatekeepers who meet regularly each semester of the grant to determine best practice. The number of students served in terms of training follow: (Spring 2012:50); (Fall 2012: 35); (Spring 2012: 35); (Fall 2012: 35); (Spring 2014); (Fall, 2014:35). The total number of students is 400, or about 5% of the student population at UH Hilo. The number of gatekeepers trained is at least 60 over the three years of the grant. In terms of numbers of students reached through intervention, the numbers are not able to be predicted, but hopefully will match our measurable outcomes.