Registration for the September 27 Meeting is now open! Please join us for our Membership Meeting scheduled for Friday, September 27, 2019. This meeting will take place at Carson-Newman University and is scheduled from 11:00-2:00pm Eastern Time. Lunch will be provided. CHASCo members are encouraged to invite colleagues who may be interested, including student affairs professionals, counselors, compliance officers, administrators, etc. All are welcome to join us. Click here to register
Professional Development: Mental health and suicide prevention are increasingly becoming topics of focus for universities and colleges. At the same time, confusion continues to surround policy, procedure, crisis response, and best practice. This session will serve to provide an introductory understanding of the new state law, support resources, and the JED Campus initiative. We will discuss the new state law (effective July 1, 2019) related to suicide prevention plan requirements for institutions of higher education. The new section requires institutions of higher education to develop and implement a suicide prevention plan for students, faculty, and staff, and to provide the suicide prevention plan to students, faculty, and staff at least one time each semester.
New State Law: Public Chapter No. 455 amends Title 49, Chapter 7 of Tennessee Code Annotated to add new section, with the language included at this link: https://publications.tnsosfiles.com/acts/111/pub/pc0455.pdf. This new section is effective July 1, 2019.
The new section requires institutions of higher education to develop and implement a suicide prevention plan for students, faculty, and staff, and to provide the suicide prevention plan to students, faculty, and staff at least one time each semester. The language of the new section is as follows:
(a) Each state institution of higher education shall develop and implement a suicide prevention plan for students, faculty, and staff. The plan must be developed in consultation with campus mental health professionals and suicide prevention experts. The plan must identify procedures related to suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention.
(b) Each state institution of higher education may seek assistance in developing a suicide prevention plan from an organization that engages in a variety of initiatives to improve crisis services and advance suicide prevention, such as the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network or a successor organization, and may seek information from such an organization for information on the development of training programs pursuant to § 63-1-125(c)(1).
(c) Each state institution of higher education shall provide the suicide prevention plan to students, faculty, and staff at least one (1) time each semester.
Tricia Henderson serves as the Interim Director for the Center for Student Wellbeing at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Tricia is a State of Tennessee Licensed Professional Counselor Mental Health Service Provider and Clinical Supervisor. Tricia’s professional experience also includes mental health, suicide, substance abuse and sexual assault prevention and education. Tricia is the chair of the Southeast Region Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network, Coalition for Safe and Health Campus Communities, and Hamilton County Coalition. Tricia serves as a member of the Governor’s Advisory Board for the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network, the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network's Higher Education Taskforce and has received several awards for her work in mental health education and suicide prevention. Tricia is certified as a Question, Persuade, Refer, Step-Up Bystander Intervention and Youth Mental Health First Aid instructor. She is certified in suicide prevention and response, victim advocacy, crisis intervention and group crisis response, motivational interviewing, and substance abuse assessment.