University of Akron

Grant Type:  Garrett Lee Smith Campus
Grant Status:  Active
Year Awarded:  2020
State:  Ohio

University of Akron initiative brings innovation, interventions, and collaboration, while maximizing our best resource; students. We will enhance mental health services for students, prevent mental illness and substance use disorders where possible, improve identification of students at risk, and increase health seeking behaviors via three primary pillars: Coordination, Process, and Programs Coordination: The University has recently launched an Addictions Task Force (ATF) to address behavioral health needs of student. The ATF consists of university leadership, faculty, student groups, community organizations, and campus health resources. It is structured into 5 committees that will implement and monitor activities: Communication, Rules and Regulations, Programs, Data, and Steering. Process: Uses the Strategic Prevention Framework model in promoting data informed decision making. This ensures implementation of “best-fit” intervention and prevention activities. This will be accomplished through a 3-year implementation approach: Year 1: Complete a SWOT analysis of student needs and campus resources. Use the resulting data, inclusive of the National College Health Assessment, archival data, and a Resource Assessment, to determine programmatic gaps or underutilized programs, while providing Certified Peer Educator and Ally Training. Year 2: Launch social norming campaign, targeted marketing of campus resources, and establish on-campus clinical field placements. Begin implementation of peer to peer services Year 3. All programs will be fully implemented and generating student-based outcomes; sustainability goals met. Programs: Programming will be a blend of evidence-based curriculums, augmenting screening (SBIRT) provided by clinical interns, development of recovery allied student organizations, and improve health seeking via targeted marketing, stigma reduction, and peer ally referrals. Strategies to address specific goals will include: 1. Increase identification and referral for at-risk students via embedding SBIRT services in the wellness center (@1000/year) 2. Prevention via partnership with community prevention agencies, early intervention/referral, and, and social norming campaigns. (outreach to 22,000 students per year) 3. Promote Health Seeking via peer-led services. This includes BACCHUS and Ally training, while increasing participation in recovery/advocacy-based student organizations. Help Text-line, increased visibility of a Collegiate Recovery Community, and mental health screening days, are to be included. (Increase health seeking by 10%/YEAR) By maximizing clinical field placements, utilizing ATF infrastructure, and enhancing community relationships we are confident this initiative will be sustainable post funding.