Central Connecticut State University

Grant Type:  Campus
Grant Status:  Active
Year Awarded:  2016
State:  Connecticut

Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) is committed to reducing student deaths from suicide and improving outcomes for those college students suffering with suicidal ideation. CCSU has had four student deaths by suicide in the past five years. The University is committed to increasing suicide prevention awareness and will develop interventions to create a safety-net of mental health support using the SAMHSA model for wellness.

College age, eighteen to twenty four, is a time when mental health concerns and issues relating to mental health begin to emerge. Certain targeted populations continue to be at greater risk for suicidal ideation. Those within the LGBT community, veterans, first generation students, athletes and male students are at an increased risk. There are a substantial number of students who can be identified or have self-identified as part of one these target groups. Recognition of the increased stressors on these groups has become the basis from which to expand campus suicide prevention initiatives.

There are over twelve thousand students living on and off the CCSU campus. Although primarily considered a commuter campus there are over two thousand students living on the campus. 2013 data obtained from the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) indicates that 7.4% of young adults, eighteen to twenty four, have experienced suicidal ideation or have attempted suicide. Extrapolating from the SPRC data, over eight hundred CCSU students may be at risk of suicide.

GLS funds will be used by CCSU to assess the needs of the students in the target populations and to develop programs to address needs as determined by the assessment. The goal of suicide prevention programming is to reduce stigma for students in target groups, to increase protective factors and to develop a network of resources within the campus community as well as within the surrounding area for commuter students. Training in Assessing and Managing Suicide Risk will be offered to all health care providers on the campus working with students. QPR Gatekeeper training will be offered, allowing for faculty, staff, and other students to recognize the signs and know how to intervene on behalf of a student at risk. Campus-wide special events will address ways in which students can increase resiliency, reduce stigma and can access mental health resources.

The CORE survey, offered in year one and three, and the Risky Behavior Survey (as developed by CCSU), offered in year two, will assess the effectiveness of suicide prevention planning. Data to measure student perceptions will be assessed to insure prevention programming effectiveness for target populations, and programs will be amended or adjusted to accommodate as needed. All participants in trainings for suicide prevention will be surveyed for comfort level and the application of skills to intervene with students who are at risk.