Delta State University

Program Name:  Suicide Prevention Project
Grant Type:  Garrett Lee Smith Campus
Grant Status:  Alumni
Year Awarded:  2012
State:  Mississippi

Delta State University Suicide Prevention Project targets university students, the majority of which come from underserved and economically-depressed counties in Mississippi. The purpose of the proposed Suicide Prevention Project is to implement a comprehensive, campus wide training program to identify students at risk for depressive, substance abuse and potential suicide precursors and funnel them into an appropriate coordinated response procedure. The project is in response to the needs of students, primarily entering the university setting from economically-depressed and socially-isolated communities, with a lack of adequate academic preparation and community resources to foster positive mental health, assisting them in overcoming barriers that prevent them from attaining academic and personal success. The goals and objectives of the project are:

Goal 1: Increase the knowledge and ability of student and faculty gatekeepers to identify and intervene with students exhibiting suicidal and mental health risk factors, and appropriately refer students in distress.
Objective 1: Train faculty, staff and student gatekeepers using the Kognito At-Risk Simulation training.
Objective 2: Promote awareness of national suicide hotline and other referral network resources
Objective 3: Strengthen campus network and referral system to address mental health needs of students by increasing coordination among the on campus, potential entrance points for the program such as our Confidential Assessment and Response Team, Campus Police, Housing department, Counseling Center and Student Health Services as well as the athletic Champs Life Skills Program.

Goal 2: Increase awareness and knowledge of mental health topics and symptoms that can lead to suicidal thoughts, reducing the stigma for seeking care.
Objective 1: Provide educational seminars on topics such as depression, anxiety, and stress reduction.
Objective 2: Provide information to students and parents on risk factors, symptoms, and appropriate interventions
Objective 3: Increase the number of students seeking mental and behavioral health services on campus.

The DSU Suicide Prevention project will train university faculty, staff and students utilizing a simulation-based training to identify, address, and refer students in psychological distress. It will provide educational seminars on topics that often precursors to suicide. Information will be provided to parents and students on mental health topics. The National Suicide Hotline will be promoted. The crisis network infrastructure will be more fully developed and strengthened.