University of West Alabama

Program Name:  University of West Alabama Campus Suicide Prevention Program
Grant Type:  Garrett Lee Smith Campus
Grant Status:  Alumni
Year Awarded:  2013
State:  Alabama

The purpose of the Campus Suicide Prevention Program (CSPP) at the University of West Alabama (UWA) is to educate and train both campus and community regarding the incidences of suicide among college students and develop an infrastructure linking students to the mental health services they need. Specifically, the CSPP is designed to increase community and campus awareness regarding suicide prevention and to communicate the message that suicide is everyone's responsibility. The project will provide outreach and training to local mental health service providers, first responders, educators, and medical personnel and communicate how UWA deals with students who are a threat to themselves, including how to identify traits of those at risk for suicide, descriptions and discussions of the signs of depression and suicide, and how to communicate the campus's suicide crisis plan to the broader community.Additionally, the project will develop a Peer Education program to provide patience, acceptance, belonging, and support to students in need. This approach will allow for better engagement of student participation in this project. The project will utilize Gatekeeper training for the campus and the community for those individuals who come in contact with our students on a daily or constant basis. Furthermore, since UWA has a strong online program, a component of the CSPP will be to provide training, outreach and support to online faculty and staff as well as develop secure opportunities for online students to participate in chat room and discussion board activities and a webinar regarding symptoms of depression and how to seek and find help.Finally, through the Screening for Mental health SMH website, students will have access to a confidential and private screening as a way to self-assess their mental health needs. The population to be served by this project is students enrolled at UWA. The services to be provided are education, training, and an opportunity to participate in peer education. Several agencies have offered their support to coordinate training and services. These are West Alabama Mental Health Center (Livingston, AL), Anderson's Clinic (Livingston, AL), Weems Mental Health Center (Meridian, MS), and Wesley House Community Center (Meridian, MS). All of these agencies have committed to participation in training workshop, providing training if needed, and providing mental health services to those who meet eligibility requirements.