University of Houston-Victoria

Jags for Life
Garrett Lee Smith Campus

The University of Houston-Victoria (UHV) Counseling Center will undertake the project, Jags for Life, named after UHV mascot, the Jaguar. The project seeks to establish and sustain targeted suicide prevention and treatment services to all of UHV 4,491 students and any newly enrolling students through education, training, resource distribution, and service provider partnerships. The project goals are (1) to train faculty, staff, and students to respond to student crises effectively; (2) to raise faculty, staff, and student awareness of suicide risk factors through educational materials; and (3) to create a supportive campus and community environment through strong collaborative partnerships. The project has outlined the following objectives:

  1. One (1) Health Educator/Case Manager will be in place to provide education and training programs within the first year.
  2. Four (4) training sessions will be held on campus each academic year for students, faculty and staff on suicide prevention, substance use and mental health promotion starting Year 2 of the project.
  3. Educational programs will be presented six (6) times each academic year for students, faculty and staff regarding suicide prevention and reduction of risk factors, such as depression and substance abuse.
  4. There will be an expanded, comprehensive crisis response plan in place by the end of the first year.
  5. There will be traditional print informational materials available in the Counseling Center, in academic buildings, and at the residence halls by the end of Year 1. By the end of Year 2, informational materials will be available in electronic and social media.
  6. There will be nine (9) monthly meetings annually of the Suicide Prevention Advisory Team.
  7. There will be a 10% increase in the number of students utilizing university mental health services by the end of Year 2 of the project.

Since 1973, the University of Houston-Victoria served as an upper-level commuter institution. In the fall of 2010, UHV completed downward expansion by welcoming freshmen to campus. Because it is a Hispanic-Serving Institution, UHV freshmen and sophomores are largely minority, low-income, and first-generation college students. UHV enrollment numbers are increasing as is the Counseling Centers request for services. By completing the transition to a traditional four year institution, UHV is prepared to safeguard the student body by implementing a program to reduce suicide, substance use, and mental health concerns on campus.