Bobcats Who Care
Bobcats Who Care is an interactive, suicide prevention training program. It aims to enhance participant's knowledge, awareness, and skills concerning suicide and suicide prevention.
The training is open to students, staff, and faculty. Through it, trainees gain skills in empathic listening and relationship-building in order to directly assess risk of suicide and connect someone in distress to support.
- Understand your own emotional reactions to suicide
- Learn how to make meaningful connections with those contemplating suicide
- Learn about mental health resources both on and off campus.
Why does this training matter?
Suicide is the 12th leading cause of death in the United States, and the 2nd leading cause of death among young adults. National surveys report that 8-10% of college students contemplate suicide each year. At Ohio University, that would translate to approximately 2,100 students. Yet, many college students who die by suicide are unknown to campus mental health professionals and the vast majority of students who think about suicide do not seek out professional resources.
With that in mind, it is also important to consider that 67% of young adults first tell a friend they are feeling suicidal before telling anyone else. Bobcats Who Care is designed to help participants feel better equipped to handle these difficult situations and make appropriate referrals to mental health resources. Whether a student, administrator, classified employee, or faculty member, participants can make a difference in someone’s life by becoming a Bobcat Who Cares.
Bobcats Who Care is modeled after Campus Connect, a suicide prevention gatekeeper program developed by Dr. Cory Wallack at Syracuse University. The training is completed in groups of 20 to 25 participants and requires a three-hour commitment. Currently, the training is offered as a three-hour in-person training, or in a hybrid format. In the hybrid format, participants first complete several modules independently on BlackBoard, an online learning platform, to learn facts about suicide, warning signs for suicide, skills for communicating with those in crisis, and referral options on campus and in the community. This portion of the training is approximately 1.5 hours. Next, participants join a 1.5-hour live session, during which they will engage in exercises that will put into practice the skills learned in the BlackBoard training. The live session can be completed virtually via Microsoft Teams, or in person.
Request a Training
If your office, department, or organization is interested in requesting a Bobcats Who Care training, please complete the Bobcats Who Care Training Request Form. We ask that you make the request at least 3 weeks in advance of your desired training time, and please know we may need to schedule for a later date depending on trainer availability. If your group is fewer than 20 participants, your group may be combined with other small groups who have requested a training.
Once we receive your request, we will contact you to finalize the date and time of the training, the roster of participants (including name and email), and the format you prefer (i.e., in-person for three hours, hybrid with a virtual live session, or hybrid with an in-person live session). If a format requiring in-person contact is requested, the Bobcats Who Care Coordinator will reserve a location on campus for the training to take place. If a hybrid format is selected, it is important that those who request this training AND the participants are aware that the BlackBoard segment of this training must be completed prior to the live session. Once all details are solidified, The Bobcats Who Care Coordinator will send an Outlook Calendar invitation to all participants with the detail of their upcoming training.
Become a Core Trainer
Core trainers are faculty and staff who are invested in suicide prevention and have been trained to facilitate Bobcats Who Care with students, faculty, staff, and other campus partners. Core trainers operate in pairs to provide the training and are not required to be mental health professionals.
If you are interested in becoming a core trainer and would like to be contacted about the next opportunity or wish to have more information, please contact our Assistant Director for Outreach and Consultation, Dr. Stephanie Maccombs-Hunter at firstname.lastname@example.org or (740) 593-1616.