Designed specifically for a college/university community, Campus Connect is an experiential training focused on enhancing gatekeepers’ knowledge, awareness and skills concerning college student suicide. Beyond increasing gatekeepers’ knowledge about students in a suicidal crisis, emphasis is placed on developing empathic listening skills, communication skills, and the ability to compassionately and directly ask students about their suicidal thoughts. Moreover, through increased awareness of their own emotional reactions, Campus Connect gatekeepers are able to more effectively respond to students’ emotional needs and increase the likelihood of a meaningful connection with appropriate professional resources.
In addition to enhanced ability in responding to students in a suicidal crisis, the skills learned in Campus Connect training will enable gatekeepers to respond caringly and effectively to students experiencing a wide range of emotional crises. Campus Connect employs a multicultural framework and seeks to enhance gatekeepers’ understanding of and ability to respond to students from numerous intersecting identities.
Campus Connect is a three-hour, interactive training program designed for use with a wide variety of campus personnel (e.g., faculty, residence life staff, academic advisors, health and wellness staff etc.). A Campus Connect gatekeeper training session includes the following.
- Review of college student suicide statistics and facts.
- Discussion of suicide warning signs.
- Instruction on how to ask students if they are thinking about suicide and how to refer students to mental health professionals.
- Discussion of the impact of marginalization on mental health.
- Review of effective communication and relationship-building skills.
- Discussion of typical emotional reactions experienced both by students in crisis and responding gatekeepers.
- Participation in four experiential exercises.
- Participation in a guided group role play.
A comprehensive six-hour Train-the-Trainer Session is available to colleges and universities interested in implementing Campus Connect on their own campuses. As a result of participating in a Train-the-Trainer session, your campus will be able to implement a self-sustained gatekeeper training program—an essential component of an effective campus suicide prevention program. Campus Connect Train-the-Trainer Sessions include the following.
- Review of recent trends in college mental health including relevant court cases and state laws.
- Discussion of the need for a public health approach to mental health promotion and suicide prevention.
- Review of the philosophical basis of Campus Connect.
- Participation in the experiential exercises and discussion of how to most effectively lead each of the exercises.
- Specific instruction for potential trainers on how to conduct their own trainings.
- Discussion of specific campus needs and strategies for overcoming implementation challenges.
- A training manual for each trainee which contains a detailed description of the training, including a full script with training tips and strategies.
- Campus Connect has been included on the Suicide Prevention Resource Center/American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (SPRC/AFSP) Best Practices Registry.
- Campus Connect has been implemented and evaluated at Syracuse University for the past 10 years. Participation in Campus Connect training has been shown to result in a significant increase in crisis response skills as measured by the Suicide Intervention Response Inventory (SIRI-II).
- 175 campuses have participated in a Campus Connect Train-the-Trainer Session.
- Partial funding for the implementation and assessment of Campus Connect was provided by a Garrett Lee Smith Suicide Prevention Grant.
- Pasco, S., Wallack, C., Sartin, R. M., & Dayton, R. (2012). The impact of experiential exercises on communication and relational skills in a suicide prevention gatekeeper-training program for college resident advisors. Journal Of American College Health, 60(2), 134-140.
- Wallack, C., Servaty-Seib, H. L. and Taub, D. J. (2013), Gatekeeper Training in Campus Suicide Prevention. New Directions for Student Services, 2013: 27–41.
The fee for a Train-the-Trainer session is $5,000. This fee includes: a six-hour Train-the-Trainer Session for up to 25 participants, a training manual for each participant, consultation prior to and following the training session, and travel costs for the trainer.