Apply to Bring ISP to Your Campus for Fall 2017
A call for applications
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is pleased to announce a call for applications for eligible college and university counseling centers to implement AFSP’s signature prevention program, the Interactive Screening Program (ISP). AFSP is committed to promoting mental health and preventing suicide among college students, and is honored to offer this opportunity for 20 more college campuses nationwide to augment their outreach efforts to at-risk students and encourage them to utilize available mental health services. AFSP will cover the program fees of $10,000 for each institution for a three-year program term to establish the program as part of a comprehensive suicide prevention and mental health promotion strategy on each campus.
Applications will be accepted from February 1, 2017 to April 15, 2017. Early applications are encouraged.▲ Back to Top
ISP is an online tool for college and university counseling centers to reach out to students with significant barriers to help-seeking (such as shame, fear, and embarrassment), and encourage them to utilize available mental health services before crises emerge. Each counseling center receives a customized ISP website where students can anonymously take a brief screening, receive a personalized response from an experienced, caring campus mental health professional, and continue to communicate with the counselor to identify and work through their barriers to help-seeking. ISP is the only program of its kind that offers students a safe and confidential way to connect with a campus counselor and receive personalized recommendations, feedback and support.
ISP is currently being implemented at institutions of higher education, including community colleges, undergraduate, graduate, medical or other professional programs. In addition to students, the program has been adapted for use with medical residents, staff or faculty. The program has been listed in the Suicide Prevention Resource Center’s Best Practice Registry since 2009.▲ Back to Top
The goal of ISP is to help counseling centers reach students proactively before crises emerge. ISP intervenes at many different levels that have been recommended as part of a comprehensive paradigm for preventing suicide. For students who are beginning to feel disconnected from their community or who are experiencing difficulties, ISP provides a message of care and concern, as well as a proactive offer of assistance. The program helps students identify problems at a stage in which they can be aided through peer support and non-clinical services, and can help connect students to treatment services both on campus and in the community. ISP gives students who may be more comfortable communicating online an accessible way to reach campus mental health professionals about service offerings and helps create an environment on campus that encourages help-seeking for mental health concerns.▲ Back to Top
Instructions for applicants
AFSP will cover the ISP development fee and annual license fee (in total $10,000) for each institution for a three-year program term.
Personnel from Counseling Centers/Services, Student Health Services, or Student Affairs at institutions of higher education are eligible to apply. For medical schools, this may be leadership of residency training programs, departments of psychiatry, or other wellness services. Because counseling services are needed for ISP, relevant leadership of those services should be involved in the process.
Grantees must begin program implementation during Fall Semester 2017.
Applicants must demonstrate capacity and commitment to operating ISP, including:
- Conducting outreach with the estimated goal of inviting 20 percent of their enrolled student population to participate in the program over the course of the three-year program term
- Designating licensed mental health professionals (or those seeking licensure under supervisor) to the role of communicating with students through the ISP website*
- Allotting clinical time for students who wish to make in-person appointments following their connection through ISP
- Establishing connection with community mental health services for student referrals as needed
- Allotting administrative staff time to coordinate initial program implementation efforts within given timeframe, ongoing program planning, and evaluation
* At least one licensed mental health professional must be available to review student’s questionnaires and dialogues via the ISP Website, and to provide clinical services. Counseling Centers do not need to hire additional counselors for this program. Counselor(s) can conduct ISP work based on their current schedule(s) with a few hours of work per week (approximately 2-4 hours). AFSP will assist you in developing your staffing plan according to the number of students you’d like to invite to participate.
Applicants must be able to make this commitment by signing the ISP Service & License Agreement, which outlines the partnership and the statement of work for the institution and AFSP. The license provides:
- Dedicated AFSP staff to support program implementation
- Ongoing technical support
- Customized ISP website
- Counselor training in all program functions
- Assistance with data reporting and evaluation
In addition to the signed ISP Services & License Agreement, each applicant must provide:
- Description of plan for utilization of ISP as part of mental health promotion and suicide prevention efforts on campus
- Name, title, email address and telephone number of the lead contact
- Names and titles of other key personnel who will assist in program coordination and/or serve as ISP Responding Counselors
AFSP expects funded institutions to operate the program consistently for the 3-year program term, with an estimated goal of inviting 20 percent of their enrolled student population during that time period.
AFSP may invite grantees to participate in larger program evaluation projects to evaluate program across institutions.
AFSP may coordinate public announcements of the partnerships, recognizing participating schools as national leaders in their commitment to student mental health and saving lives. Public announcements will be facilitated and approved by each party’s public relations team.
Following grant completion, the intention is for each institution to continue operation of ISP as part of their mental health promotion efforts and commitment to preventing suicide on campus.▲ Back to Top
Application review process
Each application will be reviewed upon submission. ISP Staff may contact eligible applicants to schedule a consultation call to further evaluate capacity and commitment to operating ISP. ISP staff will notify all applicants of acceptance or rejection.
Criteria for review
As part of AFSP’s mission, all applications submitted are evaluated for feasibility and capacity to implement ISP effectively. Special consideration will be given to institutions that demonstrate a readiness and commitment to suicide prevention efforts.
Clinical services should adhere to national standards of excellence and be available via accessible locations, times, and timelines. A community-based referral network should also be in place for students whose treatment needs extend beyond the scope of campus counseling services.
Key dates and deadlines
February 1, 2017 — Application opens.
April 15, 2017 (5pm ET) — Applications due.
April 15 – June 1, 2017 — Review applications. Consultation calls with eligible applicants as needed. Issue Services & License Agreements to accepted applicants.
May – June 2017 — Finalize Agreements. Begin implementation phase.
June – July 2017 — ISP Staff works with each institution to customize ISP website and consult about outreach plan.
August – September 2017 — Conduct counselor trainings.
September 2017 — Launch program.
September – December 2017 — Continue program roll-out and conduct evaluation.▲ Back to Top