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Sharpen is the suicide prevention tech platform for SAMHSA Garrett Lee Smith award at VCOM

Resiliency Technologies, Inc. will be the suicide prevention and mental health literacy technology partner for The Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine's (VCOM) which was awarded a SAMHSA Garrett Lee Smith grant to implement intensive training in suicide prevention and mental wellness across its four-campus system.

The team will incorporate a customized version of the Sharpen® platform for medical students ("MindfulMEDS") to connect them to validated screening tools, peer-focused mental health literacy and suicide prevention training, community help resources, and crisis response support to combat depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation experienced by med students.

Resiliency Technologies has had the privilege of collaborating with VCOM to focus on upstream, innovative prevention strategies that tackle these devastating mental health challenges facing so many medical students. A recent study highlighted how much medical students engage in Sharpen® mental health literacy content compared to college student populations (Berreta et al, 2023).

Medical students suffer from depression at rates 15-30% greater than the general population, and an estimated 300 to 400 physicians die by suicide in the United States every year (AFSP). More needs to be done in addressing these growing concerns and helping to prepare our future physicians. It is our goal, with the help of this grant, to implement a comprehensive suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention program that will both increase and improve the infrastructure networks that serve the mental health needs of students.

This grant will further build and enhance the network of counseling resources provided to VCOM students and implement the Sharpen "MindfulMEDS" mental health and wellness toolkit and mental health educational programming across all four VCOM campus locations.

This grant will enable our team to:

  • Develop multi-disciplinary care teams comprised of mental health counselors, student services, academic advisors, facilities as appropriate, faculty members, and administration.

  • Design and implement med-student specific suicide prevention educational modules in "MindfulMeds" to promote life skills, resiliency, and social connectedness.

  • Provide specific training to care teams in terms of crisis intervention and suicide prevention, including lethal means counseling, QPR, de-escalation, referral process, screening, legal considerations, and motivational interviewing strategies, among others.

  • Through Sharpen, we will provide specific training for students in suicide prevention and encourage and promote the use of MindfulMeds app and screening tools for suicidality, depression, and substance abuse among VCOM students.

  • Develop crisis response protocols for care teams, to include linkages with outside mental health and community resources.


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