Monmouth University has been awarded a $301,215 grant from the state Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration to assist in the school's efforts to prevent suicide and enhance mental health services to students in crisis over the next three years.
A kick-off event for the program was held at Magill Commons at Monmouth University on World Suicide Prevention Day this morning.
Speakers at the kick-off event included President Paul G. Gaffney, Social Work Professor Michelle Scott, Director of Counseling and Psychological Services Franca Mancini and Dean of the School of Social Work Robin Mama. Scott and Mancini are co-directors of the project.
Scott, the grant project co-director, said, “We are thrilled and honored to receive this award.
"It is hoped that work we have planned to prevent suicide and promote resiliency within our community will truly benefit the student body and the university as a whole," Scott said.
"We plan to create a competent community where all students, faculty, staff and administrators acknowledge their role in preventing suicide and helping each other —a true demonstration of the 'hawks fly together' motto.”
The grant will fund the Promoting Wellness and Resiliency program at Monmouth University. The program is a university and community partnership that will enhance prevention, identification and service utilization for all students, particularly those with mental and behavioral health problems which elevate their risk for suicide ideation, attempts and completions.
Funds will be used to increase help-seeking among students and reduce stigma for seeking care for mental and behavioral health issues among students; develop training programs for students and campus personnel; add to the established infrastructure and community partnerships with a public awareness campaign; conduct educational seminars; prepare and distribute educational materials; and promote the National Suicide Prevention lifeline (1-800-273-TALK or 8255) which provides 24-hour help for individuals with suicide-related problems.
By the end of the grant, it is expected that over 700 gatekeepers and providers and the Monmouth University student body of approximately 6,000 will be offered training in mental health and suicide awareness, identification and referral/help-seeking and exposed to public awareness messages.