September 1, 2021

September recognized as National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month; resources are available

Behavioral health pillar graphic

To help raise awareness and open the dialogue about suicide, September is recognized annually as National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. As part of that, Sept. 5-11 is recognized as National Suicide Prevention Week and Sept. 10 as World Suicide Prevention Day.  

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, and suicide rates in the U.S. have increased about 33% from 1999 to 2019.  

Purdue understands the everyday necessity of raising awareness about mental health needs and ensuring that resources are readily available. With that in mind, and as represented by the behavioral health pillar of the Healthy Boiler Program, Human Resources-Benefits reminds faculty and staff that there are several mental health resources available via Purdue as well as communitywide.

“While there are many documented risk factors for suicide – including family history, loss, prolonged stress – research has found that 46 percent of people who die by suicide had a known mental health condition," says Candace Shaffer, senior director of benefits in Human Resources. “Even before the additional stress brought on by COVID-19, employees shared with us in post-enrollment surveys that they wanted and needed additional mental health support.

"Through offerings via the Healthy Boiler Program and other resources, HR-Benefits continues to respond. The introduction of our SupportLinc employee assistance program (EAP) for West Lafayette employees is the latest addition to the available Purdue resources specific to behavioral health. We will continue to enhance and add as many resources and programs as possible to support the mental health and well-being of the Purdue community and ensure that those resources are easily accessible.”

EAP for employees on the Purdue Fort Wayne campus is provided by the Bowen Center, and EAP for employees on the Purdue Northwest campuses is available through New Avenues.

University resources

In support of employee well-being, Purdue offers many mental health resources to faculty and staff. Available resources are:

  • Behavioral Health Counseling – Available at the Center for Healthy Living (CHL) on Purdue’s West Lafayette campus. Offers employees confidential and professional counseling and referral services for a wide range of issues, including stress, depression, relationships, grief and drug/alcohol assessments.
  • LiveHealth Online Psychology and LiveHealth Online Psychiatry – Courtesy of Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Purdue’s medical plan administrator. Provides online access to psychologists and medication management support for common behavioral conditions such as major depressive disorder, anxiety and bipolar disorder.
  • Mental Health First Aid – Purdue Extension has a team of certified facilitators of Mental Health First Aid (an eight-hour training to teach participants how to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis) who are able to bring this important, lifesaving course to any campus community, organization or department.
  • myStrength – A no-cost, emotional health and well-being program brought by Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Purdue’s medical plan administrator. Referred to as a digital “health club for the mind,” myStrength is an online mental health tool that is available to all employees and dependents. See Anthem’s myStrength webpage for more information.
  • Purdue Psychology Treatment and Research Clinics – A part of the College of Health and Human Sciences, the specialty clinics offer assessment and therapeutic services for children, adults and families.
  • QPR Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper Training – QPR (Question, Persuade and Refer) is offered by the Office of the Dean of Students and teaches individuals three steps to help save a life from suicide. Training is available this fall for faculty, staff and students.
  • SupportLinc Employee Assistance Program (EAP) – A confidential resource provides access to confidential, professional counseling as well as expert referrals to address a wide array of personal and work-related concerns, such as anxiety, depression, grief and loss, anger management and more. To get started, call 888-881-5462 or log into the SupportLinc website (username: purdue).

Community resources

Additionally, employees have access to many community resources that also focus on mental health, including:

“We encourage any employee who is struggling to seek help,” Shaffer says. “Through the programs we have in place, we can help you either on-site or refer you for help with mental health, substance use, legal and financial counseling services and more.”

See the Mental Health Resources webpage for a larger list of mental health resources available.


To assist faculty and staff

Review the “Mental Health Resources” webpage for a variety of available resources for faculty and staff, including employee assistance program resources for all Purdue campuses.

To assist students

Faculty and staff, who work with students or have a student at home, can direct students to the resources below for behavioral health assistance. Note: LiveHealth Online Psychology and LiveHealth Online Psychiatry services are also available to Purdue students who are covered on a Purdue health plan. Mental health visits through LiveHealth Online are covered at 100 percent on the Purdue student health plan.  

Office of the Dean of Students

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

Faculty-Staff News

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