University of Texas at San Antonio
The University of Texas at San Antonio Counseling Services proposed project, Siempre Mañana (There’s Always Tomorrow) is intended to develop a comprehensive and far-reaching program that addresses suicide prevention at a micro and macro level by providing suicide awareness and referral training to non-mental health faculty and staff, peer educators, other student activity program leaders, and parents. In addition, it is intended to strengthen our ability to connect with emergency referrals, including the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, the UTSA Crisis Helpline and the Veterans Crisis Line, local hospitals, and treatment centers.
Given the unique needs of a fast growing and large Hispanic-serving institution where many are first-generation students, we intend to develop prevention programming in both English and Spanish. This will allow students with “limited English proficiency” and their families to feel connected culturally and access supportive networks on campus and in our community. Also, San Antonio, Texas is known as “Military City, USA,” with a very strong presence of local service members and military installations. Enrollment of veterans and their dependents at UTSA jumped 64% from 2009 to 2011, from 1,600 to 2,700 students. This high-risk population will be a specific initiative within the program, developing tailored approaches to serve the unique needs of the campus’ military, veteran, and military family students.
The goals for Siempre Mañana are to: (1) develop training for administrators, faculty, staff, and peer educators with a focus on substance abuse and suicide awareness and prevention; (2) develop culturally sensitive outreach presentations to students on issues including depression, substance abuse, and suicide; and (3) promote the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Veterans Crisis Line, and the UTSA Crisis Helpline Program evaluation will utilize objective measures including: pre and post-tests to assess knowledge acquired through training, programming, and other outreach strategies as well as attendance counts for outreach programs and website visits. Subjective measures, including anonymous evaluations and surveys, will be employed to assess the quality and personal impact of the project activities. Focus group meetings will be held post training events to collect data and determine the moderate term impact of the trainings, and the impact of PQR training on participants’ perceptions of their abilities to effectively participate in crisis intervention.