Adapted from the seven essential elements of suicide care from Zero Suicide, the 7 Core Principles for Tech Ends Suicide Together are foundational and essential to engaging and working collaboratively with students, staff, faculty, families, and the community to end suicide at Tech:
- Lead – At the core of the program is the establishment of a leadership group that spearheads the initiative and is representative of the entire campus community. The leadership group, or implementation team, should also include both survivors and those with lived experience.
- Train – Training is critical to providing a network of informed campus members on the philosophy of Zero Suicide, the signs and risk factors of suicide, and information on available campus services.
- Identify – For college and university campuses, a network of care must be established in which all campus members work to identify those at risk for suicide. This involves the development of skill sets to identify suicide risk, the knowledge of campus resources, and the ability and will to intervene appropriately.
- Engage – Establishing an effective plan for providing care to those identified at risk for suicide is crucial for each campus unit. By developing an effective plan, each unit or group defines their unique services and the extent of their services to adequately maintain the safety of those at risk. The role of a counseling center may be to assist in the consultation and development of their plan.
- Treat – Counseling center and other campus mental health professionals provide therapeutic interventions that are rooted in theory-based, empirically supported approaches that are specific to college student development and targeted to the remediation of suicidal behavior, the reduction of suicide risk factors and the enhancement and promotion of the protective factors against suicide behavior. For other campus units, treatment should take the form of programs or services that are informed by the latest research findings regarding suicide prevention, including the reduction of risk factors and the promotion of protective factors.
- Transition – Care for the individual at risk should be continuous and ongoing. Campus units should develop effective guidelines and procedures to maintain and extend care (when necessary).
- Improve – A strong dedication and commitment must exist among campus partners to engage in a culture and practice of evaluation and assessment of the efficacy of all levels of prevention services (i.e., primary, secondary, tertiary). Ongoing program evaluation and assessment is critical to objectively measure and define the degree of impact of efforts to provide data used to inform strategic service planning.
(Perez & Currie, 2016) (manuscript in preparation)