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Office of the Provost Accreditation

Suicide Prevention, Education and Postvention

Suicide Prevention, Education and Postvention

Topic: What is WSU doing in the areas of suicide prevention, education and postvention?

Challenge/opportunity: Like other institutions of higher learning, WSU has students at risk for self-harm. This includes the loss of one or two students each year by suicide. National College Health Assessment data indicates that in a one-year timeframe, about 9 percent of WSU students report seriously considering suicide and almost 2 percent report attempting suicide. In the last few years, WSU has had more student deaths by suicide than typical, with a couple of situations highly publicized.

Recent actions/outcomes:

  • WSU has implemented an online screening tool to reach out to students, destigmatize mental illness, and connect students to in-person resources.
  • A newly developed toolkit has been distributed to help faculty and staff support students in distress.
  • Expanded training opportunities enable staff and faculty to gain skills in responding to students in distress.
  • Updated training and protocols within Residence Life facilitate responses to students in crisis, specifically students who are suicidal.
  • Restructured appointment availability within Counseling and Psychological Services has made more appointments available to students at higher risk.

Current/future emphasis or next steps:

  • In fall 2018, a Healthy Minds Study will enhance existing data about need on campus.
  • Campus-wide protocols are in development for responding to students in distress.
  • A protocol is in development for student involuntary leave (for health or safety reasons) from campus.
  • WSU continues to participate in the second year of a three-year grant to address mental health and suicide prevention on campus
  • WSU continues its Mental Health Collaborative work with the Washington State cohort of the JED Foundation campus program.

For more information at WSU:

NWCCU Standards Reference: 2.D.2


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