Salt Lake Community College has updated their suicide prevention protocol. The protocol shows students and faculty specific ways to understand or recognize signs of depression or anxiety.
The main purpose of the revision is to prevent student suicide at SLCC. Faculty, staff and students should know how to effectively assist students who engage in at-risk behaviors.
“It is designed to educate people around the whole campus community regarding the serious concerns about depression and anxiety among our students,” says Deenece Huftalin, Vice President of Student Services.
The original protocol was housed primarily within Health and Wellness Services and was perceived to affect only those who knew it existed.
The new suicide prevention protocol will be moved into the Dean of Students’ office to give it a wider reach across campus in terms of awareness.
“We participate in a national survey every year, and over the years, we have watched our statistics go up in terms of prevalence of either suicidal ideation or levels of depression,” says Huftalin.
They are also training Salt Lake Community College’s student leaders, such as the Board, executives and the individuals who work directly with clubs.
“The Dean of Students and the Director of Counseling Services are being very proactive on campus to make sure faculty, deans and directors are aware of the protocol, so they understand how to respond effectively,” says Huftalin.
The new protocol has straightforward definitions of what a suicide threat looks like, warning signs of suicide and suicide behaviors. It also gives a step-by-step procedure on how to handle a specific behavior.
“If someone is explicitly stating that they want to harm themselves, then there are steps that take you immediately to Public Safety and to Health and Wellness Services,” says Huftalin. “If someone is being very vague about an issue, then there are different steps you’d take. It depends on the degree of the behavior that you are observing to determine what the steps are.”
Students who want to be more educated on identifying and assisting emotional distressed or at-risk students can contact Scott Kadera at (801) 957-4268 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Further education and training is provided by the counseling staff at Health and Wellness Services and is available upon request.