OREGON: OSU-Cascades makes suicide prevention part of campus culture

August 07, 2015

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News

The Bulletin

The newest addition to the Oregon State University (OSU) system, OSU-Cascades, is building suicide prevention and mental health into its campus culture from the start. “We’ve talked about students leaving healthier than when they arrive,” said Susan Keys, associate professor and a leader in youth mental health. When OSU-Cascades’ first students arrive this fall, they will be welcomed by faculty and staff who have completed the Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training, and will receive “wellness kits” that include tips on how to identify someone who may be at risk for suicide. These trainings and materials are funded by a federal Garrett Lee Smith suicide prevention grant, a program administered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. In addition, using funds allocated by its student fee committee, OSU-Cascades will employ a full-time mental health services coordinator to meet with students individually and organize stress-relieving events on campus. OSU-Cascades’ mental health and suicide prevention programming is being developed in partnership with the local county health services department and with Central Oregon Community College, many of whose students will attend the new university.

Spark Extra! Learn about recent research on the results of gatekeeper trainings funded by the Garrett Lee Smith Act.