Shauna Landis and the staff at Student Wellness are tackling one of the most significant issues of our day: the need for mental health and suicide prevention programming for college students.
As a college student mental health specialist and director of Student Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), Landis’ expertise encompasses much more than one-on-one counseling. She helps by promoting awareness, offering education, and putting preventive measures into practice. The CAPS programs link students and campus community members to the programs that will be most beneficial for their individual circumstances. And the initiatives save lives and help remove the stigma associated with mental illness.
“Suicide is the second leading cause of death for people ages 20 to 34, so we wanted to expand and promote some of the programs now related to suicide prevention," Landis said. It's not about turning someone into mental health professionals, she notes. "These trainings have a focus on responding and connecting people to services,” Landis said.
“It's extremely important because some of the earliest signs or symptoms that a person may experience when they're having a mental health problem are going to be noticed by people that know them. We want to normalize having those conversations, normalize help-seeking behaviors, and reduce barriers to folks getting care,” Landis said.
Landis likens these trainings to a kind of “CPR for mental health,” where any student, faculty, or staff person on the UNLV campus can learn general skills to understand scenarios and how to respond right in that moment to get someone to the next step of help.
These no-cost virtual and on-campus training opportunities are available to all UNLV students, faculty, and staff. There are three trainings offered to assist with that mission, and one of those will be able to fit into anyone’s schedule, whether you have 45 minutes to spend online (Kognito), two hours in person (QPR), or a full day for Mental Health First Aid training
Kognito is an simulation module that trains students, faculty, and staff to recognize signs of mental health issues and distress in others.
- Duration: ~50 minutes
- Structure: Online, self-paced
- Follow these instructions to access the training.
QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) Suicide Prevention Training
QPR is a suicide prevention training for participants to be able to recognize the warning signs of suicide and question, persuade, and refer people at risk for suicide for help.
- Duration: 2 hours
- Structure: In-person or virtual upon request
- Find dates via EventBrite
Mental Health First Aid (MHFA)
Mental Health First Aid is a skills-based training course that teaches participants to identify, understand, and respond to mental health and substance use challenges.
- Duration: 6-8 hours
- Structure: Virtual or In-Person available
- Find dates via EventBrite
For more information or to request QPR or MHFA training for your department, class, or other large group, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Suicide Warning SignsThe following factors have been found to be related to the presence of suicidal risk. Please note: no single risk factor can be used to fully assess risk.
- Threats to hurt or kill self
- Previous suicide attempts
- Searching for means of suicide (pills, weapons, other methods)
- Preoccupation with death/dying
- Recent losses
- Dramatic changes in mood
- Substance use (especially increased use)
- Feeling as if there are no solutions to problems
- Withdrawing from social relationships
- Unable to sleep or sleeping all the time
- Family history of suicide
- Impulsivity or poor self-control
- Health problems (new diagnoses or worsening symptoms)
- History of psychiatric diagnoses
If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is available 24/7. Call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org.