West Valley College

Program Name:  ARISE: Advancing Resources & Information for Suicide (Prevention) & Education
Grant Type:  Community College
Grant Status:  Active
Year Awarded:  2015
State:  California

ARISE: Advancing Resources & Information for Suicide (Prevention) & Education project will develop a comprehensive approach to preventing suicide among college students by fostering an empowered culture, enabling the campus community to maximize opportunities for collaboration and coordination of suicide prevention activities. The core goals of ARISE are to strengthen the college infrastructure and address gaps in order to create a safe environment that better supports students, fosters a sense of belonging, and promotes mental health and wellness as a crucial component of the pathway to college success.

West Valley College (WVC) serves approximately 11,000 students and employs 87 staff, 386 faculty, and 13 administrators. The Hispanic student population comprises over 19% of the student population. Asian students comprise the second largest ethnic population, with over 14%. Over 44% of the students are 20 -24 years of age. 12% of students are 19 years or younger. The college also has a large population of disabled students  totaling over 1800. 

Strategies to achieve project goals include: 

  1. Integrating suicide prevention training and activities to positively influence WVC culture and leadership;
  2. Utilizing a variety of media platforms to increase communication efforts to reduce stigma and support safe crisis intervention strategies;
  3. Increasing knowledge and awareness of the warning signs for suicide, and empowering individuals to respond to persons in crisis through the promotion of the national, veterans-focused, and local crisis hotlines; and
  4. Disseminating information to faculty regarding how to integrate consistent and safe messaging on suicide and mental health into curricula. Approximately 4000 faculty, staff and students will be served through trainings and events, and a viewership audience of 15,000 individuals will have listened to, read, or integrated suicide prevention and mental health messages over the course of three years.