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New Guide Offers Tips on Establishing and Maintaining Effective Campus Safety Teams

A new guidebook hopes to curb campus crime by leading campus teams through the process of anticipating and responding different types of campus problems or threats. “Balancing Safety and Support on Campus: A Guide for Campus Teams” is a project of the Higher Education Mental Health Alliance (HEMHA) led by the JED Foundation.

The guidebook seeks to make campus officials aware of the potential threat students pose to themselves (suicides occur between 75 and 100 times more frequently on college campuses than homicides) and teach them the importance of early identification, early intervention and suicide prevention on college campuses.

“Risks of various kinds are part of daily life, and campuses are no exception,” the guide concludes, stressing that “the way to prevent violence is not to try to design a way to prevent violence, but to provide good, comprehensive health services for all medical and emotional problems.”

The research behind the guidebook, a collaborative effort between a group of national experts who have served on campus teams across the country, suggests that assembling campus teams brings together groups of people who are familiar with students’ struggles and attuned to what is going on on campus will help prevent such tragedies as recent events at Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois University.

The guide can be downloaded for free at

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