University of Massachusetts Lowell

Suicide Prevention Project
Garrett Lee Smith Campus

UMass Lowell Counseling Center and the Division of Student Affairs, in collaboration with NAMI NH Connect Suicide Prevention Project, propose the implementation of a campus-wide suicide prevention, intervention and postvention project, spanning a three-year period. The proposed project will include the following activities:

  1. Provide training to University staff, faculty, students and their families on campus and in the surrounding community to assist them in identifying students at risk for suicide, and referring them to appropriate resources;
  2. Deliver educational seminars to a cross-section of the campus community, to increase awareness of suicide risk factors;
  3. Work with campus and outside agencies to design and implement systematic risk assessment and referral protocols, resulting in a comprehensive system of suicide risk and response;
  4. Provide suicide postvention training for community sectors of law enforcement and first responder, University administration, residence life; and
  5. Prioritize the needs of high-risk populations on campus, including military veterans and students who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT)

Connect Prevention Training will empower gatekeepers to identify and refer high-risk students to appropriate resources. A Train the Trainer model will recruit key individuals campus-wide to build training capacity and long-term sustainability. Educational Seminars to support SAMHSAs first Strategic Initiative will be provided by community partners to address suicide risk factors, including substance abuse, depression and social isolation and to alert campus members to the early detection and intervention of mental health and substance abuse issues.

Materials with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and warning signs, and the local Samaritans information, will be distributed at all trainings and seminars. Campus-Specific Protocols, readily adapted from existing Connect templates, will be created in collaboration with campus and outside resource partners to create a community-wide safety net. Connect Postvention Training will establish guidelines for promoting healing and reducing risk in the wake of a suicide. Attention will be given to the needs of the 500 registered students who are military veterans on this campus, and of the less visible LGBT community. Evaluation of the process and outcomes of all these program activities, and the use of the data in an ongoing feedback loop, will inform interactions across the campus and within the Lowell community.