Alcorn State University

Program Name:  ASU-SPARK
Grant Type:  HBCU
Grant Status:  Alumni
Year Awarded:  2013
State:  Mississippi

The goal of the proposed ASU-SPARK (Suicide Prevention, Awareness and Reach through Kognito) is to prevent suicide in students at Alcorn State University, a Historically Black, and minority serving institution. This goal will be achieved by assessing the behavioral health needs of students, enhancing gatekeeper skills, creating awareness of behavioral health issues, reaching out to students in need and referring them for behavioral health services. Gate keeper skills of students, staff and faculty (campus community) at Alcorn State University (ASU) will be enhanced through a unique, cost effective, evidence-based at- risk training program provided by Kognito. The training program will serve a population including approximately 4000 students, 183 faculty and 303 staff population at ASU to identify psychological distress, increase help seeking behaviors, reduce stigma associated with mental health, and prepare them to approach, motivate and provide referral to those in psychological distress. Awareness of behavioral health issues and availability of behavioral health support services on campus, off campus and through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline will be created through focus groups discussions, informational materials and Alcorn website. To strengthen the ASU counseling center, focused efforts will be made to review existing protocols, establish new protocols, and formalize collaborative linkages with local and state behavioral health agencies. In fulfilling the objectives of the project, support will be drawn from the various academic and administrative units on campus to make suicide prevention a campus wide effort.