MOBILE, Ala. – University of Mobile has been awarded a grant for suicide prevention efforts through a special initiative of Alabama Department of Public Health. The Alabama Higher Education Suicide Prevention Program awarded UM $10,000 to be used for awareness and suicide prevention measures.
The grant’s purpose is to increase identification of students at-risk, increase help-seeking behaviors, and start conversations on campuses to promote the overall emotional well-being of students. The effort was spearheaded by Mary-Claire Marshall, university counselor, and Dr. Jamie O’Mally, assistant professor of psychology.
“I’m most excited about the opportunity to have additional resources for students both on campus and online as well,” said Marshall. “Suicide rates have grown on college campuses, and as a Christian university, we want to be proactive in assuring that students are grounded in who they are holistically.”
Marshall said the grant will fund various training and communication efforts for faculty, staff, security, and residential assistants to ensure that at-risk students are surrounded with appropriate care. The university will utilize WellTrack, an online resource that provides immediate access for students struggling with depression and emotional difficulties. To support students on campus, a therapeutic support group will begin in 2018.
Marshall also hopes that the grant will cover fees to host a speaker on the topic of suicide in one of the university’s weekly chapel services. Raising awareness and increasing discussion on the topic are essential to confronting the issue head-on, she said.
In Alabama, 93 youth suicides occurred in 2015. According to Alabama Department of Public Health, feeling suicidal can result from a variety of risk factors and personal conditions, resulting in hopelessness and a belief that it is impossible to change the situation. Anyone experiencing risk factors is encouraged to call the national suicide intervention hotline at (800) 273-TALK.
About University of Mobile:
University of Mobile is a Christ-centered liberal arts and sciences institution with a vision of higher education for a higher purpose, founded to honor God by equipping students for their future professions through rigorous academic preparation and spiritual transformation. Core values are: Christ-Centered, Academically-Focused, Student-Devoted and Distinctively-Driven. The university offers on-campus and online bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in over 40 areas of study. Founded in 1961, University of Mobile is affiliated with the Alabama Baptist State Convention and is located 10 miles north of Mobile, Alabama on a campus of over 880 acres. For more information about University of Mobile, visit the website at www.umobile.edu or call Enrollment Services at 1.800.WIN.RAMS or 251.442.2222.