Suicide Prevention Framework

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.

A Five-Part Framework

Suicide impacts our entire community - students, staff and faculty. The U of A's Suicide Prevention Framework acknowledges the systemic relationship between members of our community and addresses recommendations across five dimensions:

  1. Policy & Implementation
  2. Education, Awareness & Communication
  3. Supports & Services
  4. A Welcoming, Connected & Supportive Campus Community
  5. Supports Following A Campus Death

It Takes a Community

The U of A is proud to make this framework available to the community in support of de-stigmatizing mental illness and enhancing how and where we support suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention across our campuses.

For more information regarding the framework, please email or call 780-492-4145.

If there is immediate risk of harm to yourself or others, contact 911.

If you need support, we are here to help. Contact the U of A's ACCESS Open Minds Team.

For after-hours or off-campus support, call 211. View the complete list of community resources here.


Training & Resources

Community Helpers Program
The program builds on your natural helping ability by providing you with the skills and knowledge necessary to support your peers' mental health and well-being.

How to Have a Supportive Conversation
The Community Social Work Team in partnership with Counselling and Clinical Services have developed a practical 60-minute workshop to address basic listening, supporting, and referring skills and strategies for staff members who work directly with students.

Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) Training
QPR is a certified suicide prevention training program that teaches the skills to recognize and support people who may be having thoughts of suicide.