The goal of the Campus Suicide Prevention Center of Virginia is to reduce risk for suicide on Virginia’s college and university campuses. Specifically, this program supports the individuals and teams on each campus as they work to build the infrastructure necessary to promote mental health for all students, identify and support those with mental health concerns and effectively respond to individuals who are at risk for suicide.
- Support the development and use of a comprehensive plan. We will teach and promote a “Public Health” model that brings together people from a variety of campus roles and uses a combination of strategies. This is a flexible model; designed to be adapted to meet the unique needs and resources of each campus.
- Provide on-site and regional training in the following areas:
- Recognizing and Responding to Suicide Risk, for counseling center professionals.
- Gatekeeper Training- Also called suicide prevention ‘first aid’. Just as anyone can learn CPR, people from many roles can learn to identify, respond to and get help for a person who may be at risk for suicide. On a college campus, training participants would include staff from any student services office, RAs, RDs, student advisors, campus ministry, campus police as well as students themselves. We use the following evidence based programs: ASIST, safeTALK, QPR and Campus Connect.
- Training for campus planners in the development, implementation and evaluation of a comprehensive plan.
- Support the collection and use of data on:
- Student mental health (using the Healthy Minds Study from the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health)
- Campus needs and resources
- Connect campuses to state and national suicide prevention resources
- Make print materials available
- Hard copies of nationally promoted suicide prevention materials (brochures, wallet cards, posters)
- Print ready copies of materials to adapt (e.g. add a campus phone number or website) and print at each site.
- Provide support for on-line resources and campus websites (e.g., screening tools, on-line courses)
- Support for campus based suicide “postvention” following a fatality. A good postvention plan is essential in reducing risk for contagion, supporting those affected and promoting healing.
- Create a network that promotes information sharing between campuses.
Funding comes from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Agency and through the Division of Injury and Violence Prevention at the Virginia Department of Health. All services will be available at no cost to all Virginia two and four year, public and private campuses.