Policy Portal

University Policy

Suicide Prevention Policy

Policy Number: 3349‐10‐62
Effective Date: 10/01/2016
Updated:
Reviewed:
Responsible Department: Public Safety and Security
Applies To: All Students and Employees

A. Purpose

To protect the health and well‐being of Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) students and employees, NEOMED has established procedures to prevent, assess the risk of, intervene in, and respond to suicide on campus or situations where suicide affects the lives of its students and employees. The purpose of this policy is to provide students and employees with information on suicide prevention, crisis intervention, mental health programming, and other educational and outreach activities aimed at suicide prevention.

Toward this end, the policy is meant to be paired with other programs that support the emotional and behavioral health of students and employees at NEOMED. Specifically, this policy is meant to be applied in accordance with the University’s Emergency Notification, Response and Evacuation Procedures and the University’s Emergency or Crime Reporting Policy.

B. Scope

This policy includes resources for students and employees on and off of the NEOMED Rootstown Campus, including the on‐campus residences and off campus clinical training sites.

C. Suicide Prevention Programs Available On and Off Campus

  1. Crisis intervention access for students and employees is as follows:
    1. Students and employees are advised to call 911 if they:
      1. Believe someone has or is about to engage in a suicide attempt; or
      2. Needs emergency care as the result of a suicide attempt.
    2. Students and employees are advised to utilize the following resources if they or someone they know have thoughts of suicide or are experiencing depression or emotional distress.
      1. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1.800.273.TALK (8255) or the National Text line at 741‐741.
      2. Area Crisis/Suicide Prevention lines include:
        1. Portage 330‐678‐4357
        2. Mahoning 330‐747‐2696
        3. Summit 330‐434‐9144
        4. Stark 330‐452‐6000
        5. Cuyahoga 216‐623‐6888
      3. The Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation website lists Suicide Prevention Hotlines by County for any county in the state:   http://www.ohiospf.org/county_hotlines.php
      4. Student Counseling Services at 330.325.6735, or after normal business hours at 216.903.7873.
  2. Mental health program access, including information on the availability of local mental health clinics, student health services, and counseling services is as follows:
    1. Students who have thoughts of (or are concerned about others who may have thoughts of) suicide, or are experiencing depression, or emotional distress, are advised to utilize the NEOMED local mental health resources, which are located on the web at: http://www.ohiospf.org/county_hotlines.php. Additionally, students may contact Student Counseling Services at 330.325.6735, or after normal business hours at 216.903.7873 or email The Center for Student Wellness at counseling@neomed.edu. The Center for Student Wellness and Counseling is located in the NEW Center inside the Summa Physicians Family Practice office suite in the NEW Center.
    2. Employees who have thoughts of (or are concerned about others who may have thoughts of) suicide, or are experiencing depression, or emotional distress, are advised to utilize the Employee Assistance Program (the “EAP”) offered through Impact Solutions. Resources at the EAP are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 800‐227‐6007 or   www.myimpactsolution.com, (Member Login: NEOMED).  Employees and each dependent are eligible for services through the EAP, who provides live confidential access to professional counseling, guidance, and support.   Unlimited phone support as well as up to three complimentary face‐to‐
      ace counseling sessions per person per occurrence are available as a resource for personal and/or work‐related issues. Further information can be found on the NEOMED web at: https://www.neomed.edu/officesanddirectory/humanresources/benefits/
      employee‐assistance‐program   or http://www3.neomed.edu/DIV/Finance/forms/hr/Impact_Solutions_Imp
      act_at_a_Glance.pdf
    3. Local Mental Health Centers offer support services to both students and employees. Area mental health center resources include:
      1. Portage County:  Coleman Professional Services available at
        www.colemanservices.org or 330‐673‐1347.
      2. Mahoning County: Compass Family and Community Services available at:  http://compassfamily.org/programs‐services/counseling‐services/  or 330‐782‐5664.
      3. Summit County: Portage Path Behavioral Health available at:  www.portagepath.org or 330‐253‐3100.
      4. Stark County:  Community Services of Stark County available at: http://since1919.org/ or 330‐455‐0374.
      5. Cuyahoga County: Centers for Families and Children available at: http://www.thecentersohio.org/ or 216.432.7200.
      6. Additional resources can be found at:   https://www.neomed.edu/campuslife/studentaffairs/student-wellness/hotlines‐and‐local‐resources
    4. Additional Resources
      1. Ohio Program for Campus Safety & Mental Health (OPCSMH): https://www.neomed.edu/academics/ohio‐program‐for‐campus‐safety‐and‐mental‐health
      2. Campus Mental Health Resources & Campus Mental Health Awareness https://www.neomed.edu/academics/ohio‐program‐for‐campus‐safety‐and‐mental‐health/resources‐1

D. Multimedia Applications

  1. NEOMED has promoted the use of The Jason Foundation’s multimedia application “A Friend Asks.” The multimedia application is free of charge and includes information on warning signs, resources for help (including the National Suicide Hotline), advice on what to do or not do for a person in crisis, a treatment locator and one‐touch access to connect users directly to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

E. Student Outreach and Educational Activities

  1. NEOMED provides all incoming students with information about mental health topics, including depression and suicide prevention, as part of a curricular course and co‐curricular education.
  2. The information provided includes available mental health services and other support services, including student‐run organizations for individuals at risk of or affected by suicide (e.g., NAMI on Campus).

F. Postvention Plan

  1. NEOMED has developed and maintains a strategic suicide postvention plan, consisting of a strategic plan to communicate effectively with students, employees, and family after a loss of a person to suicide. Key features of the plan, available at: [insert link] include provisions that address the following:
    1. Immediate Responses to the Death
      1. Internal Notifications at NEOMED
        1. The first person to learn of the death should contact Public Safety (ext. 5911 or (330) 325‐5911).
        2. Public Safety will notify the Postvention Coordinator and Vice President for Academic Affairs and Chief of Staff.
        3. The Postvention Coordinator will notify the Postvention Committee and convene a meeting to outline future activities.
        4. The Vice President for Academic Affairs or Chief of Staff, as appropriate, will notify the University President, Executive Director of Public Relations and Marketing, Chief Student Affairs Officer and Director of Human Resources.
      2. Contact with the family
        1. The Chief of Police will notify law enforcement in the next of kin’s jurisdiction and ask them to make notification.
        2. Once verification of initial notification is made, key university personnel will contact next of kin to offer the University’s condolences, offer support, and advise them of expected follow up contacts from the University, including a call from the Director of Health and Wellness to offer support.
      3. University Communications
        1. Roommates, friends, faculty, University employees and others close to the deceased are notified of the death first, in person if possible, or by phone if an in person meeting is not practical. They will be encouraged not to contact others via social media until other notifications can be made. Members of NEOMED Counseling Services office will offer support and resources to those who worked or attended classes with the deceased.
        2. The broader University Community will be notified by email of the death by email.  Suicide will only be mentioned after confirmed by the coroner and with family’s permission.
      4. External Communications
        1. The Executive Director of the Office of Public Relations and Marketing (OPRM) handles all on and off campus media inquiries. The OPRM discourages students, parents, faculty, and staff from making comments or giving interviews to the media. All communications will meet the guidelines for safe messaging provided by the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (See Appendix).
        2. The Vice President of Academic Affairs or Chief of Staff will inform campus to report the presence of any off‐campus media personnel to the NEOMED Police Department. NEOMED Police will make every effort to prohibit all off‐campus media personnel to students or campus.
        3. The Postvention Coordinator will work with families of the deceased to properly manage social media accounts of the deceased.
    2. Memorials
      1. All requests for campus memorial services will be reviewed by the Postvention Committee. Memorial services will be discouraged unless there is judged to be therapeutic benefit to the campus.  If a memorial is held, the Postvention Committee will advise those involved of the appropriateness of memorial service activities. Physical memorials are also discouraged, but will be managed by the Postvention Committee if such events occur.
    3. Ongoing Response
      1. The University will facilitate Postvention Discussion Groups designed to provide education, support, and guidance in dealing with the grief in the aftermath of a tragic loss, as well as an additional screening opportunity to identify other members of the NEOMED community who may be emotionally at risk.
      2. The Postvention Committee will engage in a comprehensive review of the postvention response to determine if changes to the Postvention Plan are necessary.

G. General Information Available Through NEOMED

  1. NEOMED posts information about mental health topics and suicide prevention resources to the University’s website about all of the foregoing topics, including (i) crisis intervention access, (ii) mental health program resources, (iii) access to suicide prevention and (iv) mental health multimedia applications, and (v) student communication plans. In addition, throughout its communications, NEOMED:
    1. Encourages students and employees to seek help or treatment that they may need;
    2. Developed and maintains communication plans, including the creation of outreach plans regarding educational and outreach activities on suicide prevention;
    3. Developed and maintains a strategic suicide postvention plan to effectively communicate with students, employees, and family after a loss of a person to suicide;
    4. Ensures that personal information is kept confidential;
    5. Allows students to return to the curriculum as appropriate; and
    6. Prohibits any form of discrimination against students or employees with mental illnesses, including taking any punitive actions toward those in crisis.
  2. NEOMED promotes awareness around signs of depression and suicidal thoughts, which may include, but are not limited to the following:
    1. Personality change;
    2. Agitation;
    3. Withdrawal;
    4. Poor self‐care; or
    5. Hopelessness.

CONTACT

Lisa Noland
Administrative Specialist
Phone: 330.325.6354
Email: lnoland@neomed.edu

Office of General Counsel

Northeast Ohio Medical University