University of the District of Columbia

SOAR (Students Overcomin All Risks)
District of Columbia

The proposed Suicide Prevention Project addresses SAMHSA’s Prevention of Substance Abuse and Mental Illness Strategic Initiative. Authorized under the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act, this Campus Suicide Prevention Grant is designed to support a broad-range of activities and partner with other campus entities including behavior health grants that promote overall well-being. The University of the District of Columbia (UDC) plans to utilize the Kogntio At-Risk platform to focus on trainings that address stigma, lack of mental health awareness and education, false cultural beliefs, distrust of professionals, shame, and spiritual concerns, potential barriers to seeking mental health treatment.UDC has two overarching goals for this Suicide Prevention Project, to: 1) Provide Suicide Prevention training to the university community and; 2) Improve campus suicide prevention awareness by increasing the numbers of students, faculty, and staff exposed to mental health promotion and suicide prevention resources. Through a series of internal and external partnerships, this project will emphasize the use of Kognito At-Risk trainings which include 1) building skills and motivation to identify, approach, and refer students exhibiting signs of suicidal ideation, substance use/abuse, and psychological distress, including depression and anxiety, to relevant support services on- and off-campus, 2) reducing stigma about mental disorders, and increasing the recognition that suicide prevention is everyone’s responsibility, 3) increasing help-seeking behaviors among students and reducing negative attitudes for seeking care for mental and substance use disorders among students, and 4) building knowledge about on- and off-campus behavioral health services including the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Veterans, LBGTQ, and students will be targeted for participation. These groups are known to be at increased risk for suicidal ideation. The project proposes an unique collaboration between administration, faculty, staff, and students.Evaluation of the project will be provided by an advisory group including internal and external representatives. Data will be collected on a monthly basis and reported on the SAMHSA according to the guidelines and provisions of the grant. An evaluator will provide formative and summative evaluation of the project outcomes, including quantitative and quantity measures especially to determine what is replicable with other post-secondary institutions in the U.S.