Suicide Prevention Organization to Expand Interactive Screening Program
NEW YORK, NY – Each year, 10 percent of college students report that they have seriously considered suicide and more than 1,100 college students die by suicide. Those students who need help the most are often the least likely to seek help on their own, even when services are available to them. The Interactive Screening Program (ISP) is an online tool offered by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP, www.afsp.org) and used by college and university counseling centers to reach distressed students and help connect them to mental health services before a crisis emerges. In 2017, AFSP will expand the program to 20 additional colleges and universities nationwide.
“Oftentimes, feelings of shame, fear or uncertainty prevent students from seeking help,” says Dr. Christine Moutier, AFSP’s chief medical officer. “Through ISP, we are able to reach those students who may be struggling with issues like anxiety, depression or adjustments to college life. Through a customized and highly confidential approach, ISP addresses individuals’ perceived barriers to getting help.”
The program expansion has been made possible by a generous Mental Health Grant from the Leon Lowenstein Foundation. In 2008, the Leon Lowenstein Foundation granted AFSP another education-related grant which supported AFSP's educational film, More Than Sad: Teen Depression. This film has been viewed by over a million students and educators across the country since its launch.
All United States-based colleges and universities, including medical schools, are welcome to apply to bring ISP to their school by submitting a proposal through AFSP's website at www.afsp.org/isp2017. Applications accepted from February 1, 2017 through April 15, 2017; and the 20 selected new programs will launch in September 2017.
ISP is the only online screening program that offers students a safe and confidential way to connect with campus counselors and receive personalized recommendations and support. Since its official launch in 2006, ISP has expanded to over 100 colleges and universities nationwide and connected more than 40,000 students to a mental health professional. ISP is listed on the Suicide Prevention Resource Center’s Best Practice Registry for Suicide Prevention. ISP is also currently being used by workplaces, law enforcement agencies, and Employee Assistance Programs.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide. AFSP creates a culture that’s smart about mental health through education and community programs, develops suicide prevention through research and advocacy, and provides support for those affected by suicide. Led by CEO Robert Gebbia and headquartered in New York, and with a public policy office in Washington, DC, AFSP has local chapters in all 50 states with programs and events nationwide. AFSP celebrates 30 years of service to the suicide prevention movement.