FORT WAYNE - A Purdue Fort Wayne Associate Professor of psychology is the recipient of a three-year grant from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Jeannie DiClimenti will use the $368,664 to develop a mental health awareness and early-intervention program. 

Purdue Aware: Helping Our Students through Faculty and Staff training has two focus areas, training faculty and staff and offering screenings, intervention and assessment for students. The university will work with Park Center and the Bowen Center, and is negotiating with Fort Wayne Vet Center and Veteran's Administration. Contributors will be trained to notice signs of mental and emotional distress in students, and then refer those students for early intervention.

“This new program is a natural extension of Project COMPASS (COMmunity Partners Against Student Suicide), our campus suicide prevention program,” says DiClementi. “Training faculty and staff to recognize student distress can help get students into services before they escalate to suicidality. Our intent is not to replace Project COMPASS or other programs on campus, but to add to efforts to better serve our students.”

The program focuses on at-risk students, including active-duty and military veterans, members of gender and sexual minority groups, members of racial and ethnic minority groups, along with first-generation college students and nontraditional students. Training for the new program will begin in the 2019 spring semester.