Universidad del Turabo

Program Name:  Universidad del Turabo
Grant Type:  Hispanic Serving Institution
Grant Status:  Alumni
Year Awarded:  2006
State:  Puerto Rico

The Campus Suicide Prevention Program at Universidad del Turabo (UT) will include three (3) main activities: (1) the development of a systematic training program for student's organizational leaders, faculty, counselors, athletic coaches and security personnel; The development and implementation of an Institutional Crisis Response Plan, including networking infrastructure created to link the institution with health care providers from the external community; and, (3) Data collection of risk factors as identified by the administration of a validated screening test that will be used to develop statistics and informational material related to suicide and prevention strategies.

The purpose of the training program is to develop in institutional direct service personnel with the student population under 21 years of age the following:(1) increase the knowledge concerning mental health and behavioral conflicts; (2) strengthen the ability to recognize and identify high risk behaviors in freshmen students; and, (3) promote the ability to respond effectively and make the necessary referrals for direct services as appropriate. An additional training to administer a screening test will be given to a selected group of counselors, social workers and faculty of the Psychology Department and various units of the Office of the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs at UT.

The Institutional Crisis Response Plan will improve the current UT services for students with suicide ideations and attempts creating a formal process to attend campus suicide attempts. By establishing the community links with mental health care agencies, UT will be able to provide broader alternatives for student referrals.

Suicide on the UT campus remains a poorly understood event since statistics are limited, risk factors are diverse and more effective intervention techniques and research is needed. This project will permit data collection on suicide risk factors and the identification of effective institutional resources in suicide prevention management. This will also augment the opportunities for data collection among an Hispanic population that can be fully integrated into statistics compiled by the Suicide Prevention Evaluation Contractor of SAMSHA.

Informational material on suicide prevention and risk factors based on the statistical data generated will be prepared and distributed among UT students. The material will include mental and behavioral problems that can lead to depression, substance abuse, and suicide ideation or attempts. Also, plans and alternatives for accessing emergency care within the institution and the broader community will be provided.