In collaboration with the The Jed Foundation (JED)

Who is the Suicide Prevention Specialist on Your Campus?

College and university campuses are the most accessible point of contact for late adolescents and young adults at risk for suicide, and thus are natural settings for suicide prevention activities. Many colleges and universities have been mandated to create campus-wide suicide prevention programs and many others are doing so in recognition of the impact a student’s suicide has on the college or university, fellow students, professors and staff. And yet, most professionals charged with developing these programs lack sufficient knowledge and/or competencies to design and implement effective programs and best practices.

The Statistics:

  • Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among youth attending colleges and universities in the U.S.
  • 18% of college and university undergraduate students and 15% of graduate students reported having seriously considered attempting suicide across their lifetime.
  • 6% and 4%, respectively, reported seriously considering suicide in the past 12 months.
  • 30% of college students report having suicidal ideation. The actual percentage is likely much higher.

The Facts:

  • Counseling service clinicians are the first line of care for students struggling with serious mental health concerns which may entail risk for suicide.
  • Counseling clinicians are also frequently in the lead in directing management of campus suicide attempts and campus suicides.

The Reality:

Many counselors have not received training to sufficiently prepare them to adequately intervene with a suicidal student, manage an unfolding crisis or contribute to school suicide postvention activities.

AAS’s College & University Suicide Prevention Accreditation Program teaches:

  • Best and evidence-based suicide prevention practices
  • Risk factors and warning signs for college and university students
  • How to assess young adults at risk
  • Confidentiality
  • Prevention and postvention principles
  • Self-injury
  • How to reintegrate a student after a suicide attempt
  • Dealing with traumatic loss
  • Contagion and cluster
  • Litigation outcomes, and more.

Your initial accreditation is valid for 3 years. At the end of the accreditation period; renewal without reexamination can be obtained for a fee of $200 and evidence of continuing education in suicidology, suicide prevention, and/or crisis intervention at a minimum of 9 credits over the 3-year period. Reaccreditation is valid for 4 years with the same ongoing continuing education requirement. If you do not meet these requirements, you must complete the requirements for initial accreditation (fee and examination).

$360 for professionals; $260 for graduate students with proof of student status.

If you pass the exam, you will be mailed a certificate attesting to your accreditation by AAS. If you do not pass the initial exam, you will have the opportunity to take a parallel form of the exam at any time between 30 and 365 days after being so informed at no extra cost to you.  If you still do not pass the exam, an additional $100 is assessed to re-take the exam two more times.

Continuing Education Credits:
AAS is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. AAS maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

This program is approved by the National Association of Social Workers (provider #886455354).

American Association of Suicidology has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 5607. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. AAS is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

10 Continuing Education Credits are Available.

AAS Membership:

Along with your accreditation certificate, you will receive a one-year membership in AAS, a $179 value, at no additional cost. Membership includes networking access to thousands of other suicidology and mental health professionals, participation in AAS committees, access to media as a subject matter expert, a subscription to AAS’s bimonthly, peer reviewed journal Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, discount on registration fees to the AAS annual conference, publications, and other resources, and free fact sheets and annual statistics updates. In addition, after the first year you will receive a 20% discount on membership renewal fees.

Click here to apply!
Application [PDF]

Purchase via our Online Store:
College/University Suicide Prevention Accreditation – Professional
College/University Suicide Prevention Accreditation – Student

About the Jed Foundation (JED)
JED’s mission is to promote emotional health and prevent suicide among college and university students. To achieve this end, the organization collaborates with the public and leaders in higher education, mental health, and research to produce and advance initiatives that:

  • Promote awareness and understanding that emotional well-being is achievable, mental illness is treatable and suicide is preventable
  • Increase knowledge of the warning signs of suicide & emotional distress
  • Foster help-seeking so that those who need supportive services reach out to secure them, or are referred to services by a peer
  • Build and strengthen resilience, coping skills and connectedness among young adults, their peers, families and communities
  • Facilitate adoption of a comprehensive, community-based approach to promote emotional health and protect at-risk students on campus
  • Raise the importance of mental health services, policies and programs in the college selection process of students and parents.

JED’s Three Areas of Focus

  • We help schools evaluate and strengthen their mental health, substance abuse and suicide prevention programs and systems to safeguard individual and community health.
  • We develop expert resources and create powerful partnerships to ensure more teens and young adults get access to the resources and support they need to navigate life’s challenges.
  • We educate and equip students, families and communities to know when and how to support others who are in distress or struggling with a mental health issue.

The Jed Foundation’s Comprehensive Approach
The Jed Foundation believe in a comprehensive, public health approach to promoting mental health and preventing suicide. JED’s programs are grounded in our Comprehensive Approach to Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention for Colleges and Universities, developed in collaboration with SPRC. This evidence-based model can be used to assess efforts currently being made on campus, identifying existing strengths and areas for improvement. Learn more about JED’s Comprehensive Approach here.

In 2017, JED built upon its Comprehensive Approach by developing the Equity in Mental Health Framework, in partnership with The Steve Fund, which provides ten recommendations and implementation strategies to help colleges and universities better support the mental health of students of color.