Mental health and wellness is an important aspect of student affairs at the University of Alberta, and no aspect of mental health is more compelling than the prevention of suicide among the student population. In November 2014, the Dean of Students called for the development of a university-wide suicide prevention framework. Although the U of A has an existing network of student services that directly or indirectly support student mental health and wellness, the intention was to create a comprehensive review with a particular focus on suicide prevention in order to create significant improvements. This sharpened focus would help guide an investigation of current practices and processes, the identification of gaps in services and supports, and the review of best practices for implementation at the U of A.
The U of A Suicide Prevention Framework report is the result of that investigation and outlines a five-part framework for enhancing suicide prevention. Specifically, this report identifies 36 recommendations across the five categories to build upon student, staff, and faculty mental health and wellness services and to improve the capacity and capability for suicide prevention at the U of A. In addition to the recommendations, suggestions for assessment and sustainability are also provided.