Wayne State's Suicide Prevention Initiative will create student advisory board for support, outreach

December 4, 2017

Suicide is a leading cause of death for young adults. The Suicide Prevention Resource Center reported in 2014 that nearly one in ten adults aged 18 to 22 has seriously considered suicide. Understanding these numbers and the risks associated with them inspired Wayne State University to expand its suicide prevention measures.

Wayne State University’s Suicide Prevention Initiative, started this October, is funded by a three-year Garrett Lee Smith Campus Suicide Prevention Grant. This initiative aims to raise awareness about the signs of suicide and provide Wayne State students, faculty and staff with ways to help someone who is struggling.

“Suicide is a serious health concern for university students. Suicide does not discriminate and is often preventable. This Suicide Prevention Initiative program will work to provide targeted programs and outreach to all students and to students at particular risk, including those who identify as LGBTQ and military veterans, those living in campus residence halls, minority students, and students who have mental health disabilities,” said Stephanie Kastely, MA, LPC, suicide prevention coordinator.

While Wayne State already offers several resources to students struggling with mental illness, this initiative will assist in coordinating infrastructure and strategic planning to specifically address campus suicide prevention education, programming and activities.

“We hope this program will affect our university community by reducing the stigma associated with mental health issues and letting people know that seeking help is encouraged and seen as strength,” said Kastely.

A part of the Suicide Prevention Initiative is the formation of a student advisory board. Students who participate on the advisory board will have the opportunity to provide feedback on issues they face as students and represent Wayne State’s diverse student body.

An introductory meeting regarding the advisory board will take place Dec. 7. Seating is limited. Please contact Stephanie Kastely at for more information.

 Kastely recommends that all Wayne State students, faculty and staff who wish to learn more about this issue research the warning signs of suicide on the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline website. Free, confidential support is available 24/7 through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or through the Crisis Text Line at 741741.