Peers REACHing Out (PROs) was developed in 2013 by the Ohio State University Suicide Prevention Program in order to cultivate student leaders, educators and advocates for suicide prevention. Before the inception of PROs, peer educators had not been used for suicide prevention education of an American university. Although the project was therefore groundbreaking, OSUSPP was confident that students have an invaluable role to play in saving lives and creating a culture of caring at OSU.
Every year, PROs has grown as more and more passionate and dedicated students apply to join a cause that they care about deeply. OSUSPP works closely with these PROs as they develop the necessary skills to provide mental health outreach and educational REACH suicide prevention gatekeeper training on our campus. Since the beginning of PROs, our program has witnessed the incredible impact that students have to increase the spread of knowledge and to change attitudes about suicide prevention. By providing REACH, hosting and participating in outreach events such as the REACH 5K and RUOK? Day, and becoming advocates for OSU populations in need, PROs dedicate themselves to transforming the Ohio State community into a place where every student, staff, and faculty feels cared about and supported in seeking help if they should ever need it.
PROs accept a tremendous responsibility to become knowledgeable, effective, and professional advocates for suicide prevention. Their time and dedication to this important cause helps them to grow into strong leaders and trustworthy, self-aware individuals. PROs often reflect on their experience in this student organization as one of the most meaningful and transformative experiences of their college years, and they know that their work to prevent suicide has truly made a difference even after they have graduated.
Watch members of Peers REACHing Out in a video interview with The Lantern, OSU’s campus newspaper.
The PROs applications for the 2018-2019 academic year have closed. Please check back for the next application cycle in spring 2019.
As a part of your application, we ask that your include the following:
- Background information
- A description of past public speaking experience
- Information on volunteer experiences and/or other students organizations in which you are involved
- A reference (title, email address, and phone number) who can speak to your dependability and ability to be a student leader
- A 1-2 page essay describing why you believe in the importance of our pillars of education, advocacy, and outreach as they relate to mental health and suicide prevention.
If you have questions, please send them to PROs Advisor (Student Development GAA) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Peers REACHing Out Fact Sheet:
WHAT IS PEERS REACHING OUT (“PROs”)?
Peers REACHing Out (“PROs”) provides OSU students with an exciting opportunity to be a part of something that really matters. Students selected for this program will have the opportunity to become campus leaders in mental health promotion, and will work as part of a team to develop unique ways to communicate the important messages contained in REACH© to fellow students. We are interested in identifying students who want to make a difference and are willing to commit time each week to doing just that.
WHAT WOULD I BE DOING AS PART OF THE PROGRAM?
The PROs will work with the OSU Suicide Prevention program to promote campus education about mental health and suicide prevention. PROs are trained to deliver REACH©, a suicide prevention training that equips OSU students to: Recognize warnings signs of suicide risk, Engage individuals with empathy, Ask directly about suicide, Communicate hope, and Help link individuals to resources. The PROs will also participate in campus advocacy and outreach initiatives.
DO I HAVE TO BE A PSYCHOLOGY OR HEALTH PROFESSIONS MAJOR?
No! PROs include both undergraduate and graduate students from diverse backgrounds, career interests, and majors. We value having students who represent a broad range of interests.
HOW MUCH TIME EACH WEEK SHOULD I EXPECT TO COMMIT TO THE PROGRAM?
This may vary depending on each student’s unique situation, but as a rule of thumb we would ask you to commit approximately 4 hours per week (more if you have specific internship requirements that you are fulfilling). This time commitment will allow ample opportunity to be trained in the OSU Suicide Prevention program, gain experience as a student trainer, and participate in other events.
CAN I USE MY TIME TO COMPLETE ACADEMIC INTERNSHIP OR VOLUNTEER REQUIREMENTS?
We are certainly willing to work with you and your department to identify whether your time dedicated to this program can be used for academic credit or volunteer requirements.
IF YOU HAVE ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS, JUST ASK!
You can also check us out online at suicideprevention.osu.edu or follow us on Twitter (@OSUREACH)!