Ohio State’s Suicide Prevention Program receives $150,000 in funding to continue operations
Published: Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 23:02
The Ohio State University Suicide Prevention Program was close to losing its funding, but a $150,000 grant will allow it to operate at least through the next academic year.
A roughly $100,000 grant that funds the program is set to expire at the end of the academic year, said Darcy Granello, the director of the Suicide Prevention Program.
Though the previous grant was worth about $100,000, the program has previously received additional support from people volunteering either their time or resources.
Gretchen Metzelaars, the senior associate vice president for Student Life, said the program is strong and that the university is lucky to have the resources to support it. However, the new grant might even allow for the program to grow next year.
“We will be able to maintain and, in some instances, even enhance the kinds of programming we’ve been able to offer,” Granello said.
Suicide is the third leading cause of death from ages 15 to 24, according to the Wexner Medical Center’s website.
Student Life will have to re-evaluate its funds for next year to see if it is still able and willing to support the suicide program.
Despite this, Granello said she is not worried about the program’s future.
“I think the university has demonstrated that they value this and support this,” Granello said. “We’ve been given no reason to believe that we don’t have the support of the university.”
Wendy Winger, the program manager for Suicide Prevention, said the program is important for helping people learn how to help their friends, colleagues and students.
“The whole notion of the work we do is we teach the community at large what the warning signs are,” Winger said.
The OSU Suicide Prevention Program gives advice on how to prevent suicide and also offers several programs that assist faculty and students with suicide prevention.
The program offers several outreach initiatives, including REACH, a training program which teaches students, faculty and staff to recognize warning signs and the best next steps.
Part of the funding for suicide prevention at OSU also goes toward the Buckeye Campaign Against Suicide, the student organization that branches off the Suicide Prevention Program.
It is not directly funded by the grant, but some of the money goes toward a few events organized by BCAS.
BCAS has organized events such as RU OK? Day last May, which aimed to start a conversation about mental health.
The university received the money for the grant from money earned in its $125 million partnership with Huntington Bank.
Samantha Swope, a fourth-year in Korean, said it is important to keep suicide prevention programs at OSU.
“College is really stressful,” Swope said. “I know people that have done it (committed suicide) and so that’s why I think it’s important there are prevention programs.”
Vice President of Student Life Javaune Adams-Gaston talked about the importance of the program in a statement.
“The Office of Student Life has been a dedicated partner in Ohio State’s Suicide Prevention Program, and we are proud of the initiative’s impact and progress over the past years. Through our support, engagement and participation, we understand the value and can attest to the program’s positive effect on the campus community,” she said.