University of Maryland

Program Name:  University of Maryland
Grant Type:  Garrett Lee Smith Campus
Grant Status:  Alumni
Year Awarded:  2006
State:  Maryland

The University of Maryland College Park (UM) is highly concerned about addressing student's mental health needs and is committed to providing them with easily accessible services. To this end, UM proposes the Suicide Awareness Health Education and Training (SAHET) project, a comprehensive suicide prevention program that will unite a variety of stakeholders, namely, administrators, clinicians, student representatives and researchers toward a common goal: to address and reduce suicidal behaviors among our students. Led by the University Health Center (UHC), and supported by a team of multidisciplinary experts, the project will: 1) create and implement a comprehensive strategic suicide prevention plan with guidance from a Campus Advisory Board; 2) create research-based written and web-based informational materials to increase awareness among the campus community of the magnitude of suicidal behavior, recognition, risk assessment, social, family and mental health correlates, and materials that promote the reduction of stigma associated with help-seeking behaviors; 3) hold structured training programs for a broad spectrum of campus professionals who come in contact withstudents; 4) hold educational seminars for students and their parents on suicide prevention, risk assessment and crisis response. Pre-post assessments will be conducted to evaluate the efficacy of the implementation strategy and user-friendliness of materials as well as measure the knowledge gained in a number of topic areas. The ultimate goal of the project will be to centralize mental health referrals to the UHC that will be tracked through administrative data monitoring. We will also promote the linkage to already existing state and local hotlines as well as make available the wealth of information already available at the national level on depression and suicide awareness and prevention.