University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
The UWEC Thrive: Pathways to Success and Well-Being program aims to build capacity to help students thrive and reduce risk for school failure due to mental illness, substance use problems, and suicide. This goal will be accomplished by building an integrated, multidisciplinary, and comprehensive prevention infrastructure focusing on
- better identification and assistance of students at-risk through screening programs,
- building resilience, life skills, and social connections through outreach programming,
- strengthening care linkages with campus and local providers, and
- enhancing mental health services.
Our program will be delivered to the 10,000+ enrolled students annually, targeting our campus’ high-risk groups such as LGBTQ+ (16%), Veteran (3%), racial/ethnic minority (9%), and first/second-year students, along with faculty/staff and community members. The proposed program has three primary objectives driving our activities:
- By the end of the grant, there will be a 30% reduction in student failure/attrition due to suicide, mental health, and substance use problems.
- There will be a 10% reduction, each year of the grant, in the number of students in crisis due to suicide, mental health, or substance use concerns.
- By the end of the grant, have a formalized care network including county crisis teams, hospitals, and outpatient behavioral health providers that will grow by at least 2 new providers each year to facilitate safe care transitions for students between campus and local providers.
To achieve these objectives we will implement comprehensive, voluntary screening practices for early identification of students at risk, connecting them to support resources. Information and trainings regarding effectively responding to students with mental health and substance use disorders will be provided to students, faculty, and staff multiple times throughout the year. The group program at Counseling Services will be expanded in addition to creating and providing resilience and life-skills workshops. Active bystander and wellness outreach programs will work towards reducing negative attitudes and assisting others in accessing help. A peer support specialist program will be implemented to build social connections. We plan to strengthen care transitions by creating a formal network with local providers and by providing training in evidence based assessment, intervention, and prevention practices. This program is guided by the SPRC comprehensive approach to suicide prevention to ensure a solid, well-coordinated, and sustainable infrastructure is created in order to reduce the adverse consequences of mental health and substance use disorders, including suicides and school failure, on our campus.