Colleges and Universities Expand Suicide Prevention Efforts Thanks to Federal Grant

September 20, 2019

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News

INSIGHT Into Diversity

Federal grants are helping colleges and universities expand their suicide prevention efforts. In 2018, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration awarded more than $2 million in Garrett Lee Smith Campus Suicide Prevention Grants to 24 campuses. The funding allows schools to train staff in how to identify and assist students at risk for suicide and appoint a person to oversee prevention efforts. Some grantees are using the funds to expand access to mental health supports, for example through online counseling. Grantee Connecticut College is focused on supporting youth who may be at increased risk for suicide, such as first-generation students. “If we weren’t speaking to the risk of suicide, we wouldn’t really be doing our job as college mental health professionals,” said Bryana White, assistant director and identity-focused specialist of Connecticut College Student Counseling Services. “Applying to the [Garrett Lee Smith] grant was really to ensure that we’re doing all that we can in terms of prevention.”

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