University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Program Name:  University of Arkansas at Little Rock MidSOUTH
Grant Type:  Garrett Lee Smith Campus
Grant Status:  Active
Year Awarded:  2020
State:  Arkansas

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UA Little Rock) MidSOUTH, in partnership with the UA Little Rock Counseling Services, proposes to enhance its current suicide prevention practices for students attending the university. MidSOUTH is the community outreach arm and training center for the UA Little Rock School of Social Work. Arkansas currently ranks 10th in the national rankings for suicides per capita according to the Centers for Disease Control. UA Little Rock has a very diverse population including students who identify as LGBTQ, have disabilities, and veterans. MidSOUTH plans to work with each of these populations for the campus suicide prevention program. While, UA Little Rock has had numerous suicide attempts as well as deaths by suicide, the benchmark study of UA Little Rock students revealed that only 2.17% of those surveyed reported receiving counseling services on campus. The overarching goal for the UA Little Rock/MidSOUTH Garrett Lee Smith Campus Suicide Prevention Program is to prevent deaths by suicide of university students. More specifically, the goal is to increase awareness, provide needed training, and strengthen the processes and collaboration with behavioral healthcare providers in the community to insure students in need receive the best and most appropriate care to prevent suicide attempts and death by suicide. Project staff, Counseling Services staff, student interns, and a parent advocate (parent of a college student who died by suicide) will comprise the Suicide Prevention Committee that will guide the selection of informational materials and training to be offered. A great need for UA Little Rock is to create a network that will link Counseling Services with healthcare providers in the area. Tools and practices that support continuity of care to ensure patients have timely access to follow-up care will be identified and/or developed that include formal referral agreements, interagency agreements, follow-up contacts, and student and family education. In addition, a formal postvention plan for immediate and long-term needs to be established for UA Little Rock. In year one, UA Little Rock/MidSOUTH will work to develop a network of providers that will coordinate closely with the UA Little Rock Counseling Services. In addition, informational materials will be identified and/or developed to be used to increase awareness of suicide and the Arkansas Hotline. Initial training for students, faculty, and staff will also begin in year one. In years two and three, when appropriate referral services are in place, the focus will be to increase awareness of available services on campus, continue distribution of materials, and increase training for students, faculty, and staff. UA Little Rock/MidSOUTH will collect and report all SAMHSA required data.