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Monarchs THRIVE: Campus Suicide Prevention Resources


Text "START" to 741-741 or call 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among college students and more than half of college students will struggle with a mental health condition. This website aims to:

  1. Increase awareness of warning signs for suicide and psychological distress
  2. Provide resources that can help during a mental health crisis
  3. Give an overview of ODU's campus suicide prevention efforts


Monarchs THRIVE is ODU's mental health social norms campaign. This social norms campaign focuses on: spreading awareness about mental health and suicide, normalizing conversations surrounding these topics, and promoting available resources and encouraging help seeking among students.

THRIVE is an acronym. See below for details about each component of THRIVE:

T - Talk About Mental Health

Physical distancing does not mean we are alone. Technologies such as Zoom, FaceTime, and messaging apps can help us stay connected. As you text, chat, or meet up online, talk about mental health. Ask your friends and family how they are coping with stress, anxiety, depression, or isolation. Talk about how you are coping. Being open about our mental health is part of how we can support one another.

H - Hear Friends’ Needs

The significant changes in the world will affect all of us differently. We can help each other by hearing others' needs. Check in with people in your support system (e.g., online or over the phone) to see how they are doing. Ask them what they need during this challenging time. Simply listening shows that we care.

R - Recognize Warning Signs

As we talk about mental health and hear others' needs, we also want to recognize warning signs that a person may need professional help. Persistent negative mood most days could be a sign of depression. We should also look out for warning signs that someone may be at risk for suicide, which is the second leading cause of death in college students and young adults. Warning signs for suicide include talking about killing oneself, feeling hopelessness or like a burden to others, and feeling trapped or having no reason to live. Also recognize behaviors that might indicate suicide risk, such as increased use of alcohol or drugs, withdrawing from activities and social supports (friends and family), and engaging in "goodbye" behaviors (such as giving away prized possessions). If you recognize any of these warning signs or are concerned that someone might be thinking about suicide, ask them. Research shows that asking people if they are thinking about suicide does not increase their risk. Quite the opposite, it lets them know that someone cares, and it allows a chance to find help for them. If you or someone else you know is thinking about suicide, it is time to enlist help from others NOW (see resources in #6. Enlist help from others below).

I - Invest in Self-care

Self-care is essential to health. Just as we must brush our teeth regularly to avoid cavities, our thoughts and feelings will be healthier if we are proactive about our mental health. Self-care can include a range of activities that help us feel balanced and refreshed. Negative emotions thrive off of unused free time. Using our free time to do things that matter to us is part of self-care. Studying and working ahead on coursework, practicing a musical instrument, learning a new skill, playing video games, and cleaning and organizing are just a few options. Maintaining physical distancing during activities may require some creativity, such as forming an online group to play games or study, or virtual volunteering. Listening to podcasts or audiobooks during cognitive downtime, such as when doing chores, can help push away worry. Social interaction with people who treat you well is also important. Sharing your feelings with others, journaling, or reading books by experts may improve your emotional well-being by improving understanding of yourself and your emotions. Mindfulness meditation has been helpful for many people to learn to accept anxiety and to understand their thoughts and feelings. Learning and practicing mindfulness is easier if you use an app, such as Headspace or Calm.

V - Value Health and Wellness

During times of stress, it is important that we don't forget to prioritize our most basic needs. Eating a nutritious diet can improve mood and immune system function. Getting enough sleep is essential for physical health, mood regulation, and clear thinking. Taking medications as prescribed is important to stay healthy and safe. During times of stress, be careful about alcohol and drugs that have negative mood effects. Exercise is particularly beneficial because it releases endorphins, which have mood-boosting effect.

E - Enlist Help from Others

If you are feeling depressed, anxious, or are thinking about suicide, it is important to reach out for help. You are not alone. There are science-based treatments that work. These include individual therapy, group therapy, and in some cases medication. Sometimes people think that asking for help is a sign of weakness. But seeing a therapist does not indicate weakness any more than seeing a doctor does. The ODU Counseling Services is open and available for telephone consultation and crisis counseling (Call 757-683-4401, press option #1 to schedule an appointment, press option #2 to speak with a counselor right away). In addition, many therapists, including ODU Counseling Services, are offering teletherapy, which is therapy online using video conferencing software.

Warning Signs for Suicide

Individuals who die by suicide often exhibit one or more warning signs through their words, behaviors, and/or moods. Learning about the risk factors and warning signs for suicide can help identify those at risk and save lives.

(Courtesy of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention)

See below for warning signs to look out for:

Warning Sign: Talk

If a person talks about:

  • Feeling hopeless

  • Having no reason to live

  • Being a burden to others

  • Feeling trapped

  • Unbearable pain

Warning Sign: Behavior

If a person shows these behaviors:

  • Increased use of alcohol or drugs

  • Looking for a way to end their lives, such as searching online for methods

  • Withdrawing from activities

  • Isolating from family and friends

  • Sleeping too much or too little

  • Visiting or calling people to say goodbye

  • Giving away prized possessions

  • Aggression

  • Fatigue

Warning Sign: Mood

If a person seems to be feeling:

  • Depression

  • Anxiety

  • Loss of interest

  • Irritability

  • Humiliation/Shame

  • Agitation/Anger

  • Relief/Sudden Improvement

Need Help?

If you need help:

If you are thinking about harming yourself or attempting suicide, tell someone who can help right away:

  • Call a family member, friend, or trusted person.
  • Call your therapist or mental health provider.
  • Call your doctor's office.
  • Contact one of the free, 24-hour crisis resources listed below to speak with a trained crisis counselor (see the Crisis Resources tab below).
  • Go to the nearest hospital emergency room.

If someone else needs help:

If you have a family member or friend who is suicidal...

  • Do not leave them alone.
  • Try to get the person to seek help immediately from a mental health professional, other health provider (e.g., their doctor), or the nearest hospital (see the Crisis Resources tab below).
  • Take seriously any comments about suicide or wishing to die, even if you do not believe they will actually attempt suicide. Communicating suicidal thoughts or urges is a sign of distress.

Crisis Resources

Contact one of the free, 24-hour crisis resources listed below to speak with a trained crisis counselor.

Available Resources

*If you are in crisis, see the Crisis Resources tab above in the "Need Help?" section.

To view our referral network of off-campus counseling services in the Hampton Roads area, click here: /content/dam/odu/offices/counseling-services/docs/odu-referral-network-10-30-20.pdf

Supporting Health of LGBTQIA+ Students at ODU: Important information for faculty/staff about how to create an inclusive environment for LGBTQIA+ students can be found here: /life/health-safety/health/counseling/thrive/lgptq-resources-faculty

Supporting Health of Military-Affiliated Students at ODU: Important information for faculty/staff about how to create an inclusive environment for military-affiliated students can be found here: /content/dam/odu/offices/counseling-services/docs/faculty-resources-military-affiliated-students-feb-2021.pdf

Overview of ODU's Campus Suicide Prevention Grant*

*This work is supported by a Garrett Lee Smith Campus Suicide Prevention Grant (Grant# H79SM080472) from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The view, policies, and opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of SAMHSA or HHS.

**Student Success Conference 2020 Presentation (Monarchs THRIVE: An Overview of Old Dominion University's Campus Suicide Prevention Grant) - view here: http://www.kaltura.com/tiny/ni3h1

Goal 1: Increase suicide prevention-related knowledge and skills among campus health service providers and health professions students.

The grant provides training for ODU's licensed mental health professionals (Office of Counseling Services) and other health service providers (Student Health Services) in suicide prevention skills and empirically supported treatments. In addition, suicide prevention workshops and courses are offered to ODU undergraduate and graduate students.

Goal 2: Increase the number of ODU students, faculty and staff exposed to suicide prevention gatekeeper training.

Gatekeeper training is an educational program designed to teach lay and professional "gatekeepers" the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to respond. Gatekeepers can include anyone who is strategically positioned to recognize and refer someone at risk for suicide. Two gatekeeper training programs have been offered during the course of the grant: Question Persuade Refer (QPR) through the Office of Counseling Services and safeTalk through our community partner—the Sarah Michelle Peterson Foundation. A number of ODU students, faculty, staff, and campus police have attended gatekeeper trainings to date.

Goal 3: Increase awareness of mental health, substance use, and suicide prevention campus services among ODU students, faculty, staff, and other members of the ODU community.

A range of strategies are used to increase campus awareness of mental health resources including: free on-campus and online mental health screenings, our website with information about suicide warning signs and suicide prevention resources, ODU mental health resources via course syllabi, as well as events and activities via social media (through the Office of Counseling Services).

Goal 4: Increase capacity to serve at-risk student groups by enhancing campus awareness, specifically LGBTQ+ students and military affiliated students.

We are working with campus and community stakeholders (Office of Intercultural Relations, Sexual and Gender Alliance, Military Connections Center, LGBT Life Center, and Transgender Assistance Program of Virginia) to increase campus awareness of these at-risk student groups as well as to enhance campus and community resources for these groups.

Goal 5: Increase suicide prevention efforts by ODU health service and community agencies through a ODU Campus-Community Suicide Prevention Task Force and ODU campus-community referral network.

The Suicide Prevention Campus-Community Taskforce is comprised of ODU campus and community stakeholders who are committed to improving mental health norms and resources, as well as reducing suicide risk, among the ODU community: ODU campus stakeholders (Office of Counseling Services, Student Health Services, Office of Intercultural Relations, Office of Educational Accessibility, Social Sciences Research Center, Military Connections Center), ODU student organizations (ODU Army ROTC, Greek Life, Student Government Association, Sexuality and Gender Alliance), and community partners (Sarah Michelle Peterson Foundation, St. Andrew's Episcopal Church , LGBT Life Center, and Transgender Assistance Program of Virginia).

Goal 6: Decrease negative suicide- and mental health-related social norms, as well as frequencies of stressors, substance use, and suicide-related behavior among ODU students.

Monarchs THRIVE is ODU's mental health social norms campaign. THRIVE is an acronym: Talk about Mental Health, Hear Friends' Needs, Recognize Warning Signs, Invest in Self Care, Value Health and Wellness, and Enlist Help from Others. This social norms campaign focuses on: spreading awareness about mental health and suicide, normalizing conversations surrounding these topics, and promoting available resources and encouraging help seeking among students. While the campaign does all of these things for the general student body, it also provides targeted resources for specific populations (e.g. LGBTQ+ and military affiliated students).

Goal 7: Increase policy making and implementation efforts among key ODU personnel through the development of a campus-wide suicide prevention plan.

By the conclusion of the grant, the Campus-Community Taskforce will write and enact a campus-wide suicide prevention strategic plan that will direct the campus suicide prevention efforts for years to come.

Project Directors/Principal Investigators

Catherine Glenn, Ph.D. (2020-2021)

Matt Judah, Ph.D. (2018-2020)

Nancy Badger, Ph.D., Co-PD/PI (2018-2020)

Angela Holley, Ph.D., LPC, CSAC, CCTP, CAMS-I, Co-PD/PI (2018-2020)

Rob Cramer, Ph.D. (2018-2020)

Campus Stakeholders

Office of Counseling Services

Hank Crofford, M.A., LPC, NCC, CCTP (2018-2020)

Ragan Killen, M.S. Ed (2019-2020)

Student Health Services

Darylnet Lyttle, Ph.D., RN, FNP-BC (2020)

Kristi Mantay, MPA, PA-C (2019-2020)

Office of Intercultural Relations

Jake Reeves (2019-2020)

Andrew Garber (2020)

Military Connections Center

Kristal Kinloch-Taylor (2018-2020)

Office of Educational Accessibility

Susan Nixon (2018-2020)


LTC Camala Coats (2020)

Social Science Research Center

Tancy Vandecar-Burdin, Ph.D. (2018-2020)

Greek Life

Shamiece Banks (2020)

ODU Graduate Students

Gabrielle Ramsey-Wilson, B.S. (2019-2020)

Nathan Hager, M.S. (2018-2020)

Student Campus Stakeholders

Henry Kronlage, Army ROTC (2020)

Jennifer Duarte, OIR (2020)

Jillian Soloman, SGA (2020)

Kai Dowell, SAGA (2020)

Community Stakeholders

Cory Gerwe, Ph.D., LGBT Life Center (Norfolk) (2020)

De Sube, Transgender Assistance Program of Virginia (TAP) (2020)

Michelle Peterson, Sarah Michelle Peterson Foundation (2018-2020)

Reverend John Rohrs, St. Andrew's Episcopal Church (Norfolk) (2018-2020)

Sarah Hustead, TAP (2020)

Stay tuned! Under construction.

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