Home Featured News GRCC to implement Campus Suicide Prevention Program

GRCC to implement Campus Suicide Prevention Program

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Grant committee members Lynnae Selberg (left) Theresa Freiberg (right). Selberg is also the Director of the Counseling and Career Center.

By Kosha Oswald

Grand Rapids Community College was recently awarded a grant of $226,034 by the Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA), to fund a Campus Suicide Prevention Program.

The three-year $226,034 grant requires an equal financial match from GRCC. That will take effect Sept. 30 and will fund the program until Sept. 29, 2019. The grant is intended to help the college build an infrastructure around suicide prevention and awareness, as well as mental health and wellness.

Currently students who are having troubles can seek help at the counseling center, but the problem is that not all students know that help is available to them. The grant is going to allow GRCC staff members the opportunity to get the word out and implement a comprehensive plan for students who are struggling.

“Our goal is to build a robust community resource network,” said Lynnae Selberg, director of GRCC’s Counseling and Career Center.

Selberg said this funding will help to provide the school with the mechanisms needed to track students who are struggling, as well as offer trainings on campus to help students and faculty understand the warning signs. She hopes it will help to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness and suicide. In addition, interviews have begun for a suicide prevention coordinator, who will be added to the staff.

“I am very excited about the program and to have the time and the focus to bring awareness to the community,” Selberg said.

For the first year, the plan is to get a team in place and build a community of resources. Once the team has the resources needed they will start to reach out to other organizations around the school and provide trainings to the Grand Rapids and Lakeshore campuses.

The ultimate goal by the time the grant expires is to have implemented a permanent program that enables students who are struggling to seek help and know that it is available to them.

Students can currently seek help at the GRCC Counseling and Career Center. The number to the center is 616-234-4130.