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FSU Expands Suicide Prevention Efforts

Florida State University is expanding its suicide prevention program, with a $306,000 dollar grant from the US Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The program aims to enable the entire campus community to identify and intervene with students in distress.

Funds will support the Noles CARE in Academics program, designed to focus mental health resources within academic departments. Assistant Professor Marty Swanbrow Becker says this approach builds on students’ existing support systems: their friends and teachers.

“Well our goal is to make suicide prevention easier on campus and to demystify and destigmatize the process. And so our plan is to train key people within departments, so maybe department chairs, student leaders, some key faculty members, on suicide prevention,” he said.

The program includes training to address the specific needs of high risk groups, including veterans, minorities and LGBTQ students. The university will also hire Suicide Prevention Coordinator. The initiative is expected to launch campus-wide in the fall of 2016.