Johns Hopkins University

Program Name:  Johns Hopkins Suicide Prevention Awareness, Response and Coordination (JH-SPARC)
Grant Type:  Campus
Grant Status:  Active
Year Awarded:  2017
State:  Maryland

Johns Hopkins Suicide Prevention Awareness, Response and Coordination (JH-SPARC) provides a continuum of suicide prevention training, screening and resources to advance the development of a comprehensive suicide prevention and early intervention service system for all Johns Hopkins students. JH-SPARC will increase the number of undergraduates, graduate students, medical students, and postdoctoral fellows identified, referred and receiving quality behavioral health services, with a focus on serving high risk populations (LGBTQ, veterans and military families, students with emotional and behavioral concerns). This project will be conducted in partnership with the Johns Hopkins Student Assistance Program, the JHU Counseling Center, and University Mental Health Services as well as several student groups including Active Minds. JH-SPARC will develop a feasible, practical, sustainable and effective approach to prevent suicide in students.

Goals are to:

1) broaden public awareness of suicide by utilizing marketing and dissemination/ diffusion efforts related to suicide prevention for students;
2) use the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Interactive screening program;
3) increase training opportunities for resident assistants and others on campus who work with students by providing QPR gatekeeper training;
4) provide enhanced parent and student orientation sessions and materials; and
5) conduct continuous quality improvement and evaluation of outcomes.

QPR gatekeeper training will include an engaging and interactive training session. This educational approach will be tailored to the JHU context and address:

1) how to recognize suicide risk upstream,
2) communication and interpersonal skills including how to ask directly about suicide and how to provide support, and
3) how to address stigma and barriers to help-seeking.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Interactive Screening Program (ISP) approach aims to reduce barriers to care by providing a safe and secure online screening platform that allows individuals to anonymously connect and dialogue with a behavioral health professional. The number of students in any one year who would benefit from this project is approximately 22,311.