Pharmacy School Earns Suicide Prevention Grant

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville schools of pharmacy, nursing, and counseling services have received a campus suicide prevention grant through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) schools of pharmacy, nursing, and counseling services have received a campus suicide prevention grant through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

The grant, which is close to $300,000, will go towards campus awareness and education about at-risk behaviors, the school noted in a press release. The money will also allow for improved procedures to help students in crisis.

One of the main goals is to reduce potential stigmas associated with seeking help from counselors.

“Multiple stressors, such as grade pressure and social media influence, coupled with an emerging sense of self are all part of a young student’s college life and can contribute to the development of anxiety and depression,” said Kelly Gable, associate professor of pharmacy practice in the SIUE School of Pharmacy, in a school press release. “Suicidality, while not always present with depression, is a serious symptom that may go unnoticed if a student feels uncomfortable talking about mental health struggles or is not aware of their treatment options.”

An executive steering council made up of representatives from campus police, student organizations, and 2 foundations will provide input on new policies, procedures, and outreach.

The council will also be in charge of a suicide prevention/crisis response plan, SIUE said in a press release.

In addition, students can expect to see an annual guest speaker on campus who will address warning signs of suicide, risk factors for self-harm, and explanations of how suicide affects friends and family.

Suicide is a leading cause of death among university students in the United States, according to the Suicide Prevention Resource Center.

The center noted that between 7.1% and 7.7% of undergrads and graduates had seriously considered suicide in 2012.