University Health Services announced Wednesday they received a three-year $306,000 grant, which will be used for suicide prevention services.
The grant, which will provide $102,000 each year, allows universities to find gaps in their current suicide prevention services and fill those gaps with new and improved programs.
The grant will also create a suicide prevention council, consisting of students, staff and community members to assist the university in identifying current gaps in university services, Director of University of Health Services Sarah Van Orman said.
One of the main goals of the grant is to increase training for students, faculty and staff to recognize at-risk students, be able to talk with them about suicide and refer them to specialized mental health services, according to Van Orman.
A second objective of the grant is to lessen negative connotations associated with mental health and asking for help, Van Orman said.
In addition, the grant will focus on specific student groups shown to be at anincreased risk of suicide. The groups include minority students, LGBT students and students who in engage in high-risk drinking, according to a statement by UHS.
“Of all of the serious things that go on for the health centers on campus, preventing suicide is one of the most important things,” Van Orman said.