Three Rivers Community College

Program Name:  Taking Control of Wellness
Grant Type:  Community College
Grant Status:  Alumni
Year Awarded:  2012
State:  Connecticut

A desire to be in charge of our own lives, a need for control, is born in each of us. It is essential to our mental health, and our success, that we take control. Robert F. Bennett

With the funding from the SAMHSA grant, Three Rivers Community College will take control of the potential for suicide by replacing that potential with dynamic mental health and wellness programs for the College community. Over four thousand students, 140 full time faculty and staff, and 23 communities will have the opportunity to investigate, become aware of, and mitigate the reasons for and consequences of, behaviors characteristic of those in distress.

The programs intent is to support and grow the College fledgling programs; to train people on campus and in the community to recognize symptoms of substance abuse and mental illness; to get help for those in need; to provide activities that promote wellness; and to address the stigma that is often associated with mental and behavioral problems. The fact that the College serves a county that has the highest suicide rate in the state and the fact that the College serves high percentages of all of the high risk categories- LGBT youth, American Indian, military, and veterans-makes this funding especially crucial.

The three pronged program begins with direct training for faculty and staff, and provision for community learning sessions open to the public. The second prong, preventative measures, publishes handbooks and brochures for faculty and the student body, and provides meditation, yoga, and stress reducing exercise components for the new campus Wellness Center. The third prong, the development of a Crisis Response Plan, will include taking measures that will allow the campus to respond effectively to students in immediate danger. With an evaluation plan to track the numbers of participants and the quality of its outcomes, the College expects to strengthen its initiatives as it strengthens student, faculty, staff, and community participation in erasing the potential for tragedy.