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Postvention: A Guide for Response to Suicide on College Campuses

Setting: 
Colleges/Universities
Type of Program: 
Guidelines & Protocols
2012 NSSP Objectives Addessed*: 
Description: 

Postvention: A Guide for Response to Suicide on College Campuses, created by the Higher Education Mental Health Alliance (HEMHA), provides guidance for colleges and universities for responding to a suicide on campus. The Guide is meant to be both a training tool (to be used in preparing a campus response) and a resource when responding to a current suicide. The Guide provides advice on managing communication, clinical response, coordination among stakeholders, and the process of moving the campus back to normal function.

Program Description: 

Postvention: A Guide for Response to Suicide on College Campuses, created by the Higher Education Mental Health Alliance (HEMHA), provides guidance for colleges and universities for responding to a suicide on campus. The Guide is meant to be both a training tool (to be used in preparing a campus response) and a resource when responding to a current suicide. The Guide provides advice on managing communication, clinical response, coordination among stakeholders, and the process of moving the campus back to normal function.

To create the Guide, literature on suicide postvention in college settings was reviewed and consolidated. Input from leading college mental health and campus suicide prevention experts was gathered as well. The document reflects consensus from all the HEMHA partner organizations and a panel of advisors.

Objectives: 

Administrators and other campus officials that use the Guide will have:
1. Greater knowledge of expert recommendations for responding to a suicide in the campus community; and
2. Access to tools and resources that will help plan and organize the response to a suicide in the campus community.

Implementation Essentials: 
  • In the aftermath of a suicide, it is important that campus administrators collaborate with practitioners and the greater campus communityto develop a coordinated response to the death.
Contact Information: 
 Victor Schwartz, MD
Medical Director, The Jed Foundation
1140 Broadway, Suite 803
New York, NY, 10001
Voice: 212-647-7544
Organization: 
Higher Education Mental Health Alliance
Costs: 

Postvention: A Guide for Response to Suicide on College Campuses is available as a free PDF download at http://hemha.org/postvention_guide.pdf.

Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services for Children and Their Families Program, Evaluation findings, Report to Congress, 2012-2013

The Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services for Children and Their Families Program, also known as the Children’s Mental Health Initiative (CMHI) was created to promote the coordination of the multiple and often fragmented systems that serve children and youth from birth to age 21 diagnosed with a serious emotional disturbance and their families. This report presents program evaluation findings on the program for the years 2012-2013 that supports systems of care for community-based mental health services for children, youth and their families.

The report shows that there were reductions in suicide ideation and attempts among youth after entering the program.

Creator: 
ICF Macro
Publisher: 
Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
Date published: 
2015
Full Text Online: 
Yes

Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services for Children and Their Families Program, Evaluation findings, Annual report to Congress, 2011

The Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services for Children and Their Families Program, also known as the Children’s Mental Health Initiative (CMHI) was created to promote the coordination of the multiple and often fragmented systems that serve children and youth from birth to age 21 diagnosed with a serious emotional disturbance and their families. This report presents program evaluation findings on the program for the year 2011 that supports systems of care for community-based mental health services for children, youth and their families.

The report shows that there were reductions in suicide ideation and attempts among youth after entering the program.

Creator: 
ICF Macro
Publisher: 
Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
Date published: 
2013
Full Text Online: 
Yes

Healthy Minds Study

The Healthy Minds Study is an annual survey study examining mental health, service utilization, and related issues among undergraduate and graduate students. Schools can use data to identify needs and priorities; benchmark against peer institutions; evaluate programs and policies; plan for services and programs; and advocate for resources.

Creator: 
Healthy Minds Network
Publisher: 
Healthy Minds Network
Full Text Online: 
Yes

American College Health Association National College Health Assessment (ACHA-NCHA)

This annual survey of college students covers areas of alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use, sexual health, weight, nutrition, and exercise, mental health and personal safety and violence.

Creator: 
American College Health Association
Publisher: 
American College Health Association
Full Text Online: 
Yes

Help yourself. Help others.

This anonymous self-assessment allows users to screen for mood and anxiety disorders, eating disorders, and alcohol use disorders in themselves or their adolescent children. There are also special modules for military/veterans and their families and college students. It provides an assessment of the user’s mental health, information on whether the user’s assessment results are consistent with a mental health disorder, an overview of the signs and symptoms of treatable mental health disorders, and access to local, quality treatment options.

Creator: 
Screening for Mental Health, Inc.
Publisher: 
Screening for Mental Health, Inc.
Full Text Online: 
Yes

The war within: Preventing suicide in the U.S. military

This review of the current evidence details suicide epidemiology in the military, identifies “state of the art” suicide prevention programs, describes and catalogs suicide prevention activities in the Department of Defense (DoD) and across each service, and recommends ways to ensure that the activities in the DoD and across each service reflect the best of prevention science. 

Creator: 
Ramchand R, Acosta J, Burns RM, Jaycox LH, Pernin CG.
Publisher: 
Rand Center for Military Health Policy Research
Contributor: 
Office of the Secretary of Defense
Date published: 
2011
Full Text Online: 
Yes

Building the evaluation capacity of local programs serving American Indian/Alaska Native populations: Lessons learned

This report describes the activities of 34 tribal communities served by CAPT under SAMHSA’s Science to Service Initiative conducted between 2010 and 2014. The locally-developed programs addressed substance abuse and associated factors both causal (primarily historical trauma) and consequential (primarily suicide). The report discusses evaluation processes, results, challenges and barriers to those programs. 

Creator: 
Center for the Application of Prevention Technologies (CAPT)
Publisher: 
Education Development Center (EDC)
Contributor: 
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
Date published: 
2014
Full Text Online: 
Yes

Positive youth development: Using strengths to address alcohol abuse and suicide among American Indian and Alaska Native youth

This information brief introduces prevention practitioners to the positive youth development framework as an effective approach to preventing alcohol abuse and suicide among Native youth. Prevention practitioners working in Indian Country can use this resource to inform their prevention planning and guide their selection of effective prevention interventions.

Creator: 
Center for the Application of Prevention Technologies (CAPT)
Publisher: 
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
Date published: 
2015
Full Text Online: 
Yes

Campus mind works

The Campus Mind Works website was created to support University of Michigan students who have been diagnosed with a mental health disorder, as well as students who are looking for strategies to maintain positive mental health. It features information about mental health disorders, treatments, medications, insurance and academic procedures as well as useful tools and strategies to promote health while facing the unique challenges of college life. A searchable database of local help resources is also available.
Includes information about athletes who overcame mental health issues.

Creator: 
University of Michigan Depression Center
Publisher: 
University of Michigan
Full Text Online: 
Yes
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