University of Louisville

Cards SPEAK (Suicide Prevention, Education, Awareness, and Knowledge )
Garrett Lee Smith Campus

Cards SPEAK (Suicide Prevention, Education, Awareness, and Knowledge) at the University of Louisville (UofL) is a new initiative by departments across UofL campuses that directly addresses the critical need to develop a comprehensive suicide prevention education program. This three-year infrastructure development project will strengthen UofL’s existing efforts in responding to those of our 20,000+ students who exhibit suicidal behavior, including approximately 1,715 students who identify as LGBT and 827 as veterans,as well as offer training to student leaders, 6,500+ faculty and staff , and families, who are often the ones who are first to notice and respond to suicidal behavior.

Implementation of Cards SPEAK will increase University of Louisville’s capacity to offer a coordinated and culturally competent campus message to increase the UofL community’s overall mental health awareness, with an emphasis on suicide prevention. Through coordination of campus efforts, Cards SPEAK will (1) deliver training and awareness campaigns to students and faculty/staff with data collection in order to evaluate effectiveness; (2) focus on creating campus- specific suicide prevention trainings to the at-risk populations of LGBT students and military and veteran students; (3) promote families’ understanding of and response to their students’ signs of distress; and (4) enhance campus and community partnerships in the effort of responding to students’ mental health needs; and (5) develop a sustainable infrastructure to support coordinated campus-wide efforts that emphasize students’ strong mental health.The project will supplement the established efforts of our Campus Health Service’s participation in the National College Depression Partnership (NCDP), which emphasizes the benchmarking of healthcare quality through ongoing measurement of outcomes with validated depression severity measures. The goals and objectives of the Cards SPEAK project focus on primarily utilizing Kognito training modules with students and faculty/staff but also building upon training which already exists through campus or community providers, including QPR, Mental Health First Aid, and the Koru Mindfulness model.

The goal is to educate at minimum 2,000 campus community members annually. A proposed SAMHSA-funded Project Coordinator, in consultation with our campus Suicide Prevention Advisory Committee, will work to ensure UofL meets established project benchmarks. Data will be tracked and disseminated to UofL senior leadership as well as other constituents. Community engagement will focus on awareness campaigns that exist within the Louisville metro area and will build upon partnerships with local mental health treatment providers to increase capacity for needs presented through the project.