The University of Michigan, as the flagship public university in Michigan, educates over 43,000 students a year and is the largest employer in the state. Despite strong institutional commitment to mental health services, 24 percent of U-M students report thinking about suicide, while 11.3 percent ahve seriously considered attempting suicide at least once in the last academic year. Additionally, 1.1 percent of students said they had attempted suicide at least once. The University Center for the Child and Family is coordinating work for the U-M’s Campus Suicide Prevention Grant project. The project aims to build upon a strong foundation of universal approaches to mental health education, student support, and stigma reduction at U-M to make suicide prevention a core university-wide priority.
Goals of the Campus Suicide Prevention Grant
The goals of our three-year grant project are to:
- Capitalize on existing collaborations at U-M to increase capacity for suicide prevention. In the first year, the Suicide Prevention Task Force will complete activities, such as:
- a) updating the university’s mental health needs assessment (last updated in 2005),
- b) assessing provider capacity/training both on and off campus, and
- c) developing and disseminating a long-term, comprehensive suicide prevention and crisis management plan aligned with the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention.
- Build upon our foundation of universal prevention by initiating indicated prevention strategies for three high-risk groups at U of M: returning veterans and their families; LGBTQ youth; and “disconnected” students (defined as first-generation students and/or those on academic probation).
- Partner with Michigan’s State GLS grant to provide training opportunities to university clinical staff as well as local community providers in evidence-based suicide risk assessment and care management (AMSR), along with intensive gatekeeper training (ASIST). These training opportunities will expand U-M’s existing QPR gatekeeper training program and will also prioritize:
- a) graduate student instructors,
- b) pre-service training for students studying to enter helping professions, and
- c) tailored trainings to support the needs of our identified high risk populations.
- With the support of our Suicide Prevention Task Force, UCCF leadership will identify suicide prevention champions across the university. The champions will be people who actively support suicide prevention as a core priority and who ensure sustainability of suicide prevention activities post-grant award.
Benefits to the Community at Large
As a result of the scope of the project, the U-M’s Campus Suicide prevention grant outreach will benefit the entire community (43,000 students and over 21,000 employees), especially the 310 matriculated veterans, approximately 3,000 first generation students, and approximately 1,300 students identifying as LGBTQ (based on a rate of 3% identifying as LGBTQ). We will also provide intensive best practices trainings (to include ASIST, AMSR, and trainings in cultural competence) for a minimum of 30 members of the clinical work force and 30 gatekeepers per year for three years.
Want to Get Involved?
If you’re interested in learning more about the project or would like to become involved, please contact us.