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Boise State University Receives Grant Aimed At Preventing Suicide

Boise State University campus during the fall.
Boise State Photo Services

Michelle Tassinari works on suicide outreach and prevention at Boise State. She said last fall, the school saw a big spike in students struggling with mental health.

"We had 10 students come across, you know, through our office that actually attempted suicide," said Tassinari.

That adds up to about one student every week of the semester. She said the hardships of the last year make receiving the more than $300,000 federally funded grant even more meaningful.

This is Boise State’s second time receiving the three-year grant. Associate Dean of Students Lauren Oe says they’ve learned a lot since first receiving the award in 2018 — and there are opportunities to do more.

"The goal is really to look at prevention," said Oe. "How do we go upstream, and try to get ahead of some of the challenges and learn from them?”

Through the grant, Boise State will become Idaho’s first JED Campus — a nationwide program aimed at creating support for student mental health, substance use and suicide prevention.

Other goals include better training to identify struggling students sooner and creating more resources to reintegrate students after a mental health crisis.