West Virginia University

HelpWELL Suicide Prevention and Awareness
Garrett Lee Smith Campus
West Virginia

West Virginia University’s helpWELL program seeks to systematically develop and sustain a campus community that is committed to identifying and supporting students who are at-risk for suicide and other related mental health concerns. A comprehensive public health model will be implemented which utilizes and expands on current campus services to create a systematic suicide prevention program.Project Name: helpWELLPopulation to be served: The population to be served includes the entire student population of WVU (including but not limited to those with mental health concerns). At-risk groups will be targeted, including LGBTQ students, student veterans and family members of veterans, international students, and first-year students.

Strategies/Interventions: The helpWELL program’s proposed interventions include the following: 1) increasing collaboration among campus and community partners; 2) developing and implementing a comprehensive suicide prevention plan that involves training of individuals who potentially interact with at-risk students; 3) Developing social media and outreach programs regarding suicide, mental health issues, and stigma.

Project Goals: The goals of helpWELL are: 1) to improve the quantity and quality of prevention efforts through increased collaboration; 2) to increase the knowledge, awareness, and efficacy of faculty and staff that may interact with at-risk students; 3) to decrease stigma regarding suicide and mental health; 4) to increase the likelihood that students in distress will seek out treatment.

Measurable Objectives: Measurable objectives include: 1) documentation of all collaboration efforts that occur (e.g., task force meetings); 2) documentation of the number of individuals who receive training or educational programming; 3) outcomes assessment of all suicide prevention trainings; 4) analysis of students reached by the social marketing campaign.

Number of People to be Served Annually and Throughout the Lifetime of Project: The social marketing campaigns is designed to target the entire campus of approximately 30,000 students, 1,700 faculty members, and 3,400 staff members. We also hope to indirectly target the entire campus population through suicide prevention training for faculty, staff, and students.