Notice and Respond training helps struggling students

mental-health1CSU takes a community-based, public health approach to student mental health. This means each member of the CSU campus community has a role to play in supporting the mental health of our campus including administration, mental health counselors, staff, faculty and students.

CSU Health Network’s Notice and Respond Assisting Students in Distress training program is just one part of a comprehensive campus-wide suicide prevention plan that prepares community members to notice signs of distress and know what to say and do in response.

An integral component of this suicide prevention training, is exploring not only the warning signs and campus resources, but also the undercurrents of human interaction around mental health situations and why and how our perceived barriers can make it so difficult to intervene when someone is struggling.

Three different Notice and Respond workshops reflect the relative relationships between students/peers, students/staff and students/faculty members. Each version of these interactive workshops uses a combination of learning modalities to learn how to recognize and respond to a range of mental health issues including suicide ideation.

Participants can expect to:

  • Observe a realistic filmed scenario of a conversation with a distressed student
  • Engage in self-reflection and dialog
  • Overcome fears, judgments and hesitations in order to help others
  • Learn about response options they can use in their settings
  • Consider campus resources that offer support

Since its inception July 2013, the response has been tremendous with more than 2,220 students, staff and faculty members completing training. Nearly 90 percent of all participants report having an increased awareness of the signs of distress and available campus resources to assist someone who might be struggling.

Many Notice and Respond participants validate the importance of the training with their comments of appreciation and gratitude. Students especially relate to this difficult subject matter and suggest that the training be required for all students.  While there are currently no plans to make it mandatory, the program’s goal is to reach as many of the CSU community members as possible in the near future. These trainings are an integral step toward empowering the entire campus community to look out for one another and to always remember that CSU is a caring community where Rams take care of Rams.


For more information about conducting a Notice and Respond training session for your area, contact Janelle Patrias, MSW, CSU Health Network manager of Mental Health Initiatives, or visit the webpage.