University of Kansas

Campus Suicide Prevention at the University of Kansas
Garrett Lee Smith Campus

The overarching purpose of this project, Campus Suicide Prevention at the University of Kansas(KU), is to prevent suicides on the KU campus through increased collaboration and coordination among campus and community partners and increased prevention activities. Project goals include: To increase infrastructure for suicide prevention efforts; to increase suicide prevention competency of faculty, students and staff; and to increase the awareness of resources at KU and in the surrounding community. Although KU and the surrounding community of Lawrence has many mental health and support services available to students in crisis, presently, there is no formalization of the process by which these entities work together to address suicide prevention. Further, KU does not have a comprehensive suicide prevention and postvention plan in place. By bringing together various campus and community entities (e.g., Counseling and Psychological Services, the Center for Public Partnerships and Research, the Undergraduate Advising Center, the Center for Teaching Excellence, the Student Involvement and Leadership Center, and the KU Card Center on the KU campus, as well as Headquarters, Inc., the Willow Domestic Violence Center and GaDuGi SafeCenter from the Lawrence community), this project aims to formalize relationships, coordinate services, increase awareness and overall, strengthen and widen the safety net available to KU students who are in crisis. Through our first project goal, to increase infrastructure for suicide prevention on the KU campus, we will collaborate to form an Advisory Council, comprised of individuals representing the partners listed above, that will utilize process data to inform decisions involving data-driven university infrastructure development. This Advisory Council will perform a university-wide needs assessment to collect information on the current level of awareness, attitudes and readiness to address suicide prevention and to focus initiatives on the KU campus, and subsequently review, improve and disseminate prevention and postvention policies. Through our second goal, to increase the suicide prevention competency and awareness of resources of staff and faculty through evidence-based training, we will provide gatekeeper QPR training to both faculty members and academic advisors to help them recognize and appropriately respond to students in distress. To achieve our third goal, to increase the suicide awareness and prevention competency of students, we will provide gatekeeper training to student leaders representing campus groups, as well as provide targeted training to student groups representing at-risk populations (e.g., LGBTQ, student veterans). Lastly, to achieve our fourth goal,to increase awareness of suicide prevention resources both on campus and in the community, we will promote the NSPL by printing the number on the back of the KU ID card Tyvek sleeves and advertising community services in KU buses and student planners. We anticipate that through these combined efforts, this project has the potential to impact all 24,612 students on the KU Lawrence campus annually, as well as all faculty and staff.