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Suicide Prevention Grant

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, through the Department of Health and Human Services, has awarded a Campus Suicide Prevention Grant of $301,527 to Rachael McNamara (Primary Investigator) in Counseling and Substance Abuse Services.  This three year award will assist the College Counseling and Substance Abuse Services to increase campus and community capacity to identify and support students at risk for suicide, provide evidenced based training for our Cougar Counseling Team volunteers and CASAS counseling staff, and improve interdepartmental and community communication about high risk individuals.

Counseling and Substance Abuse Services at the College recognizes that an increasing number of students coming to college nationally and at the College arrive with pre-existing mental illness and substance abuse disorders.  The goals of this award are to increase awareness about mental health needs, decrease the stigma associated with seeking help and ultimately decrease suicides, suicide attempts, and high risk behaviors.  These goals will be achieved through extra training and additional staff that will be funded by the grant.  In addition, Counseling and Substance Abuse Services plans to collaborate with the 211 Hotline, Multicultural Student Programs and Services, Office of Disability Services, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and Alliance for Full Acceptance to provide more robust services. 

CASAS is thrilled to be receiving such support for this vital program.  “In the last two years, I have been impressed with the work that Counseling and Substance Abuse services, and our volunteer crisis services, Cougar Counseling Team (formally known as Peer Counseling) accomplish every semester.  I am thrilled that with the Campus Suicide Prevention Grant, we will have the ability to have more individuals (students and professionals) certified in nationally recognized suicide prevention programs and we will have the opportunity to expand our message of prevention and resources to the College of Charleston community.  I am looking forward to increasing the conversation about suicide among students, faculty and staff at the College of Charleston,”  said McNamara.