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Colleges and Universities: College and University Suicide Prevention Resources

  • The revised National Strategy is a call to action that is intended to guide suicide prevention actions in the United States over the next decade. The National Strategy includes 13 goals and 60 objectives that have been updated to reflect advances in suicide prevention knowledge, research, and practice, as well as broader changes in society and health care delivery that have created new opportunities for suicide prevention. Print copies may be ordered through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

  • The Framework is a research-based resource that outlines four key factors to consider when developing public messages about suicide. It was developed by the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention as part of its priority to change the public conversation about suicide.

  • This webinar provided up-to-date information about what is already known about LGBT suicide risk across the lifespan as well as what is being done to improve future research.

  • This guide summarizes the existing literature on campus teams and suggests some of the key issues that should be considered when creating or managing a campus team. It includes key considerations for developing a behavioral intervention team, or the equivalent, and also survey data in terms of common terminology, structure, and participation. The guide may be particularly useful to new teams considering various options for how they should be organized and led, but should also be helpful to existing teams interested in assessing their current functions, operations, or emphases.

  • College and University programs listed in the Best Practices Registry.

  • This free resource was developed by The Jed Foundation and Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC) to help college and university professionals develop a comprehensive plan to promote the mental health of their campus communities and support students who are struggling emotionally or are distressed

  • The Jed Foundation and Education Development Center, Inc. offered this series of four webinars in 2008-09, featuring suicide prevention experts and campus prevention staff as presenters.

  • The first webinar in the Campus Mental Health Action Planning series focuses on how to build momentum for developing a mental health promotion and suicide prevention plan. This session covers data relating to the scope and nature of student mental health problems and suicide; components of a comprehensive, public health approach; techniques for gaining broad-based campus support; and creating and utilizing a campus task force.

  • The second webinar in the Campus Mental Health Action Planning series describes how to develop a clear and specific definition of campus problems that will help drive program planning. This session focuses on
examining data relating to student mental health and wellness; prioritizing problems and choosing which to address; and setting goals for health behavior and systems change.

  • The third Campus Mental Health Action Planning webinar focuses on selecting and developing campus practices that are most likely to decrease mental health problems, suicidal behavior, and suicide and promote mental health and wellness. Topics covered include how to: develop a comprehensive, multi-strategy approach; choose “best practices”; and use a logic model in program planning.

  • The third Campus Mental Health Action Planning webinar focuses on selecting and developing campus practices that are most likely to decrease mental health problems, suicidal behavior, and suicide and promote mental health and wellness. Topics covered include how to: develop a comprehensive, multi-strategy approach; choose “best practices”; and use a logic model in program planning.

  • The fourth Campus Mental Health Action Planning webinar provides a basic orientation to the design and implementation of process and outcome evaluations for programs that promote mental health and reduce risk factors for suicide and suicidal behavior. This session covers key methods of quantitative and qualitative program evaluation; experiences of one campus in planning an evaluation of a widely-used training program; and how to work with your program evaluator in developing an appropriate evaluation plan.

  • This web site is an online resource for higher education administrators, students, parents, and other professionals who are seeking information about creating healthier and safer living and learning environments for college and university students, both on campus and in the surrounding community. This resource emphasizes a comprehensive public health approach to addressing alcohol and other drug use and violence and in promoting mental health wellness among students.

  • One of the most commonly used suicide prevention activities is gatekeeper training. This course will help participants: understand the role of gatekeeper training; decide if a gatekeeper training program is right for their school, organization, or community; involve stakeholders; choose, implement, and evaluate a gatekeeper training program; and provide ongoing support to sustain the program.

  • A comparison table of programs that are listed and described in the SPRC/AFSP Best Practices Registry (BPR) or SAMHSA's National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices (NREPP). Viewers can click on the title of each program to read BPR or NREPP descriptions of the programs. Each program is described in terms of requirements, audiences, highlights and program objectives.

  • Meilman PWHall TM. (2006) Aftermath of tragic events: the development and use of community support meetings on a university campus.  2006 May-Jun; 54(6):382-4.

  • This publication reviews and synthesizes information gained from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools’ model programs to identify the characteristics that are common to model programs that can be adapted for other campuses. Lessons are applicable to the prevention of any health problem on campus. Campus collaborations, including task forces and coalitions, are addressed on pages 35-44 and 65-68.

  • This publication is the product of a consensus process led by The Jed Foundation to develop a list of the key issues to consider in developing a comprehensive, campus-wide approach to managing at-risk students.

  • Incorporating traditional evaluation, empowerment evaluation, results-based accountability, and continuous quality improvement, this manual’s ten-step process enhances practitioners’ prevention skills while empowering them to plan, implement, and evaluate programs.

    Chapter #1: What Are the Underlying Needs and Conditions in the Community? (Needs/Resources)

    Chapter #2: What Are the Goals, Target Populations, and Objectives (i.e., Desired Outcomes)? (Goals)

    Chapter #3: Which Evidence-Based Programs Can Be Used to Reach Your Goal? (Best Practice)

    Chapter #4: What Actions Need to Be Taken So That the Selected Program “Fits” the Community Context?

    Chapter #5: What Organizational Capacities Are Needed to Implement the Program? (Capacities)

    Chapter #6: What Is the Plan for this Program? (Plan)

    Chapter #7: How Will the Quality of Program and/or Initiative Implementation Be Assessed? (Process)

    Chapter #8: How Well Did the Program Work? (Outcomes)

    Chapter #9: How Will Continuous Quality Improvement Strategies Be Incorporated? (CQI)

    Chapter #10: If the Program Is Successful, How Will It Be Sustained? (Sustain)

  • This tool provides a series of questions to guide the cultural adaptation of gatekeeper training programs and so improve the community ownership, utilization, and effectiveness of the training. Questions in the areas of training delivery, shared group considerations, and follow-up and referral network are included.

  • This website contains information about various health behavior change theories.

  • Help A Friend In Need is a community guide for Facebook users to help college students and young adults identify potential warning signs that a friend might be in emotional distress and in need of help. The guide provides recommendations about how to recognize content on Facebook that may signal emotional distress, as well as advice on how to talk to a friend who may be struggling and how to connect them to help.

  • This 3-page flyer describes the role of evaluation in program planning and implementation; skills, expertise, qualifications, and experience to look for when seeking an evaluator; incentives for the evaluator; questions to ask when considering an evaluator; and how to network to find the right evaluator.

  • These web pages, on the site of the National Center for Mental Health Promotion and Youth Violence Prevention, provide tools to help campus planners build sustainable programs. See especially Evaluation and Strategic Planning.

  • These web pages, on the site of the National Center for Mental Health Promotion and Youth Violence Prevention, provide tools to help campus planners build sustainable programs. See especially Leadership for Change, Partnership and Collaboration, and Communications/Marketing.

  • These web pages, on the site of the National Center for Mental Health Promotion and Youth Violence Prevention, provide tools to help campus planners build sustainable programs. See especially Strategic Planning.

  • This book – known as the “pink book” – describes a practical approach for planning and implementing health communication efforts.

  • The Means Matter Campaign aims to increase the proportion of suicide prevention groups that promote activities that reduce a suicidal person’s access to lethal means of suicide. This link is to a set of steps for assessing and implementing means restriction on campus.

  • "Means Matter" is a Harvard School of Public Health social marketing campaign aimed at educating members of the 50 statewide suicide prevention coalitions about the connection between firearms at home and increased risk of suicide. The website is designed to introduce a non-controversial, “lethal means counseling” approach to reducing a suicidal person’s access to firearms and other lethal means.

  • The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255) is a 24-hour, toll-free, confidential suicide prevention hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. Brochures, wallet cards, and other resources can be ordered on this website, and there is a new section addressing veterans’ mental health issues and suicide.

  • This report from the nonprofit Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence discusses issues related to access to firearms on college and university campuses.

  • This presentation from the 2009 SAMHSA Grantee Technical Assistance Meeting provides a definition, goals, activities, and considerations in intervening after a suicide or other campus tragedy.

  • This guide was created to assist college and university professionals in responding to a student suicide. It discusses strategic postvention planning, communicating with students, faculty, family and media, as well as clinical interventions. The resource also provides suggestions for best practices after a campus suicide to facilitate the grieving or adjustment process, stabilize the environment, reduce the risk of negative behaviors, and limit the risk of further suicides through contagion.

  • This presentation from the 2009 SAMHSA Grantee Technical Assistance Meeting provides an overview of social connection as a protective factor against suicidal behavior.

  • This book updates a 1994 Institute of Medicine book, Reducing Risks for Mental Disorders, focusing special attention on the research base and program experience with younger populations that have emerged since that time.

  • Langford, L. (2004). Preventing Violence and Promoting Safety in Higher Education Settings: Overview of a Comprehensive Approach. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools, Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse and Violence Prevention.

  • This webinar focused on one component of a comprehensive, public health approach to suicide prevention and mental health promotion on campuses: increasing student help-seeking. Presenters will share recent research findings and will describe strategies their campuses are employing to increase the likelihood that a student who needs mental health services will seek out and secure assistance.

  • This document describes a five-year vision for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s work to prevent fatal and nonfatal suicidal behavior by building and strengthening connectedness within and among persons, families, and communities.

  • This 2004 white paper summarizes available data on suicidal behavior among college students and recommends strategies to promote mental health and prevent suicide on campuses.

  • This toolkit was designed to help program staff overcome common challenges to evaluating and planning improvements to their programs. It discusses the process of developing a program logic model that ties program activities to intermediate outcomes, helps staff better understand the drivers of any changes in long-term outcomes, such as suicide rates and offers information about the latest evaluation research in order to design an evaluation that is appropriate for a particular program.

  • This brief guide outlines five steps for effective prevention planning and evaluation on campus. Although the focus is on campus alcohol problems, the steps and guidance are applicable to any health promotion or problem prevention program.

  • The Entertainment Industries Council’s TEAM Up Social Media Guidelines for Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention provide tips for organizations and individuals communicating about mental health and suicide on social
    media to reduce stigma, increase help seeking behavior and help prevent suicide.

  • The Best Practices Registry (BPR) is a joint effort of the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). The purpose of the BPR is to identify, review, and disseminate information about best practices that address specific objectives of the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention.

  • This website provides practical, step-by-step guidance in community-building and strategic planning skills.

  • This document, created by the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (2003), contains risk and protective factors for suicide along with a reference list. Content is from the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention: Goals and Objectives for Action (2001).

  • This course offered by the University of Wisconsin Extension introduces a holistic approach to planning and evaluating education and outreach programs. It helps program practitioners use and apply logic models and provides a foundation in logic models and how to use them for planning, implementation, evaluation, or communicating about a program.

  • A companion publication to the Evaluation Handbook, this guide provides an orientation to the underlying principles and language of the program logic model for effective use in program planning, implementation, and dissemination of results.

  • This publication provides a framework for effective evaluation approaches, with an orientation to using multidisciplinary evaluation techniques, identifying the appropriate issues, and building capacity.