BOV-002: Implementation of Suicide Prevention Protocols for Students

Date: 04/10/2008 Status: Final
Last Revised: 12/08/2017
Policy Type: Board of Visitors
Oversight Executive: Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer
Applies To: Academic Division and the College at Wise.
Table of Contents:

Policy Statement

Reason for Policy:

The Virginia Code requires the governing boards of public institutions of higher education to develop and implement 1) policies that advise students, faculty, and staff of the proper procedures for identifying and addressing the needs of students exhibiting suicidal tendencies or behavior; 2) procedures for notifying the institution’s student health or counseling center when a student exhibits suicidal tendencies or behavior; and 3) policies for ensuring that after a student suicide, affected students have access to reasonable medical and behavioral health services.

Definition of Terms in Statement:
  • Terms:

    There are no terms that require definition.

Policy Statement:

IMPLEMENTATION OF SUICIDE PREVENTION PROTOCOLS FOR STUDENTS

WHEREAS, Virginia Code § 23.1-802, when first enacted in 2007, required the governing boards of each public institution of higher education to develop and implement policies that advise students, faculty, and staff, including residence hall staff, of the proper procedures for identifying and addressing the needs of students exhibiting suicidal tendencies or behavior; and

WHEREAS, in 2008, the Board of Visitors of the University of Virginia approved the continuation of the University’s Suicide Prevention Program, established in 1996, to comply with this requirement; and

WHEREAS, Virginia Code § 23.1-802 has since been amended to require the governing boards of each public institution of higher education to develop and implement (1) procedures for notifying the institution’s student health or counseling center when a student exhibits suicidal tendencies or behavior, and (2) policies for ensuring that after a student suicide, affected students have access to reasonable medical and behavioral health services, including “postvention services” designed to facilitate the grieving or adjustment process, stabilize the environment, reduce the risk of negative behaviors, and prevent suicide contagion; and

WHEREAS, the University’s Suicide Prevention Program and other existing protocols implemented by Counseling and Psychological Services in the Department of Student Health comply with these additional requirements;

RESOLVED, the Board of Visitors approves the continuation of the University’s Suicide Prevention Program, established in 1996, and other existing protocols, to comply with Virginia Code § 23.1-802; specifically:

1. The University’s Department of Student Health shall continue to educate the University community, including Residence Life staff, regarding the manifestations of depression and risk of suicide; and

2. The University’s Department of Student Health shall continue its comprehensive clinical assessment and treatment of students at risk of suicide; and

3. The University’s Department of Student Health shall continue its professional education of its own staff and mental health trainees regarding the assessment and treatment of students at high risk of suicide; and

4. The University’s Department of Student Health shall continue its provision of “postvention services,” as needed; and

5. The foregoing being subject at all times to the ongoing authority and responsibility of the University’s Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer to authorize any such improvements or revisions as may be desirable or necessary and in the best interests of the University.

Related Information:

STAF-003: Statement of Students’ Rights and Responsibilities

Virginia Code §23.1-802

Policy Background:

Reference: Implementation of Suicide Prevention Protocols for Students, BOV Minutes dated December 7-8, 2017, pgs.10569-10570.

Major Category: Board of Visitors
Category Cross Reference: Students and Student Programs
Approved by, Date: Board of Visitors, 12/08/2017
Revision History: Updated 12/8/17; Updated Code Reference 10/20/16.