Western Washington University

BRAVE (Building Resilence and Voicing Empathy)
Garrett Lee Smith Campus

Western Washington University is requesting a three-year grant of $294,948 to enhance Suicide Prevention Activities on campus. The number of completed student suicides has greatly increased in the last few years, and the need to enhance prevention activities targeted at men, high-risk students, and the entire student body is widely recognized. A cross-campus coalition has planned activities based on Best Practices, tailored to the unique culture of our students.In recent years, Western has enhanced communication and outreach on prevention issues both on campus and in the community. This project will formalize and extend current efforts, with the goals of (1) developing messages and activities tailored to create a culture of caring where formal and informal support systems empower individuals to become involved in their own mental health by utilizing existing systems; (2) collaborating internally and externally to improve opportunities for understanding; bystander roles, behaviors that place individual at risk, and options for referral; (3) providing early interventions to address risk factors and encourage informal support systems which anticipate and respond before depression impacts action; and (4) documenting and assessing clinical and programmatic efforts.Project activities will directly address cultural issues that create barriers to prevention, initiate new activities, evaluate and assess efforts to make adjustments as needed to fit the needs of Western students and their families, and lay the groundwork for sustainability of suicide prevention activities in the future. Activities will focus on (1) educational seminars, outreach, and messaging (print and online) to reach students and their families; (2) training for students and campus personnel; (3) campus networks, community partnerships, and promotion of hotlines; and (4) reviewing and utilizing Best Practices. It is anticipated that these activities will reach an average of 7,500 individuals each year during the three year project.In addition to collecting and reporting data on SAMHSA required performance measures, Western will continue previous efforts to collect data via national mental health surveys and internal data on individual student cases. Evaluation and assessment will also include tracking the utilization of Kognito software, utilizing focus groups for the Menâ€‖s Resiliency Project, and tracking the number of referrals made by faculty, staff, students and families.