SUNY Orange receives $282,000 grant for suicide prevention and awareness program

| 15 Feb 2012 | 09:30

    MIDDLETOWN — SUNY Orange has received a three-year grant of nearly $282,000 from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to establish a program to increase awareness of the risk factors for suicide and promote the use of available campus and county mental health services. The focus of “Project Up!” at SUNY Orange will be to create a comprehensive awareness campaign that will introduce students to existing campus- and county-based programs. Special attention will be directed toward two at-risk groups for whom the college would like to develop more specialized support services: returning veterans or relatives of returning veterans, and LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual or transgender) students. According to a press release from the college announcing the program, SUNY Orange expects to integrate suicide prevention and mental health information and activities into existing orientation programs for students, parents, faculty and staff. Online and print literature on suicide prevention, as well as available services, will be distributed, and awareness training programs targeting all facets of the College community will be offered. In-depth training will be presented to staff and selected faculty in such areas as advising and counseling, student activities, human resources, and safety and security. Through this program, the College will not be offering mental health services but rather providing information and referral services. The college will partner with the Orange County Department of Mental Health, Orange County Veterans Service Agency and the Hudson Valley LGBTQ Community Center to expand referral services and will seek to develop stronger on-campus peer networks for at-risk populations. SUNY Orange is one of 16 colleges and universities selected to receive a combined total of nearly $6.2 million over the next three years as part of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration funding. “There are many factors that contribute to a student’s success, and many others that may keep them from reaching their goals,” Dr. William Richards, SUNY Orange president, said in the press release. “We will make our students aware of services available both here at the College and throughout the community, and to encourage them to utilize those services if needed.”