In collaboration with 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 Specialist Certification includes

  • Best and evidence-supported 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.


Professional Member: $299

Professional Non-Member: $379

Student Member: $209

Student Non-Member: $259

Certification Renewal:

Member: $209

Non-Member: $259

Exam Re-Take Fee:

Member: $99

Non-Member: $99

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.

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 believes 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-supported 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.