University of TN at Martin

Grant Type:  Garrett Lee Smith Campus
Grant Status:  Active
Year Awarded:  2020
State:  Tennessee

The University of Tennessee at Martin (UT Martin) UTooMatter project takes a public health approach to prevention. UT Martin is a four-year, public institution of higher education and one of four universities in the University of Tennessee System. The University is situated in Weakley County, rural Northwest Tennessee. As of Fall 2017, approximately 6,800 students were enrolled at UT Martin. With the increased need for mental health services on college campuses UT Martin proposes UTooMatter will reduce the adverse consequences of severe mental illnesses and substance use disorders by (1) To develop a sustainable infrastructure for linking students without adequate mental health resources to health care providers that can provide the appropriate services. (2) To provide the campus with an overall awareness of suicide and substance abuse risk factors, warning signs, prevention and resources through evidenced-based training on suicide prevention and mental health promotion and education. (3) To increase the use of voluntary mental health and substance use disorder screenings and assessments on each of UT MARTIN’s campus. Goal (1) will be addressed by developing and implementing a Crisis Protocol, providing telephonic after-hour behavioral health services, providing telehealth counseling to our 5 Educational Outreach Teaching Centers to reduce time and travel barriers, and creating an interdisciplinary task force to share information. Goal (2) will be accomplished by implementing effective trainings and programs (i.e., mental wellness, suicide, and substance. abuse) and strategies for early identification, prevention, and intervention for our students. Finally, goal (3) will be accomplished by increasing access to screening and creating a culture of help-seeking. UT Martin has provided personal counseling services, clinical health services, and wellness promotion and prevention programs to students for over thirty years with trained and credentialed professionals. A collaborative care model for behavioral health services was created when Student Health Services and Counseling Services (SHCS) merged to form SHCS in 2009. The counselor to student ratio for UT Martin main campus for the 2016-17 academic year was 1:1348. SHCS is committed to assisting students in achieving and maintaining wellness by providing medical and counseling services that address the unique needs of its diverse student population. SHCS recognizes that there are certain factors that make certain populations at higher risk of mental health and substance use disorders than others. The UTooMatter project proposes to target Veterans, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, and Asexual (LGBTQIA), and First-Generation college students. Efforts will be made to collaborate with organizations on-campus and off-campus that already serve these populations and our general student body.