It is estimated that there are more than 1,000 suicides on college campuses each year in the United States. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for youth age 15-24 in the United States and in South Dakota, directly impacting post-secondary institutions in our state. Some of the identified risk factors for suicide in college students include behavioral health conditions, especially depression, along with hopelessness and stress. Some students struggle with the transition to the college environment, and can experience academic or social pressures, feelings of failure or alienation, and lack of adequate coping skills needed to be successful in college.
The Suicide Prevention Resource Center has created the College and University webpages. These pages are designed for campus professionals – administrators, counseling and health center staff, and others interested in moving campus suicide prevention work forward. You will find tips on getting started, access to helpful data, resources and research regarding suicide prevention at colleges and universities.
In South Dakota, Lost&Found takes a leading role in providing suicide prevention resources for post-secondary institutions and their students. Lost&Found takes a comprehensive, evidence-based approach to suicide prevention, focusing on three program areas:
- Student Programming: Lost&Found partners post-secondary institutions to train student advocates to lead awareness and educational programming and support the mental health their peers. This is accomplished through the Lost&Found Advocates and Peer2Peer Mentorship programs.
- Evaluation Services: Lost&Found staff apply extensive public health, evaluation, and grant management expertise to assess and score campus or organization resource capacity across people, policies, & programs (the Campus Mental Health Score) and provide contract, external program and grant evaluation services.
- Digital Advocacy & Policy: Lost&Found addresses community and organizational mental health needs through targeted digital public mental health content, peer support training, and resilience workshops. L&F also studies, evaluates, and provide recommendations on suicide prevention and post-vention policies and procedures to local and state entities
Lost&Found works closely with students, administrators, staff, and faculty at any post-secondary institution of any size, with emphasis on institutions serving South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, and the tribal nations with whom these states share borders. For more information or to discuss partnership with Lost&Found, please contact Lost&Found staff here.
College students and those that support students may also find these resources helpful:
- Lost&Found Bright Spot Event Video
- Active Minds
- The Jed Foundation
- Let’s Talk About Mental Health, a guide created for post-secondary students, administrators, faculty, and staff from Lost&Found
- McLean’s College Mental Health Program
- American College Health Association
- Healthy Minds Study, University of Michigan and Boston University
- College Student Health Survey, University of Minnesota
- The Steve Fund
- National Association of Student Personnel Administrators
For college campus toolkits, click here.