Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $2,000,000)
Through the proposed 36-month project, the University of Missouri’s Missouri Prevention Science Institute (MPSI) will build capacity in four urban districts serving 52 schools and 30,000+ students across Missouri by (1) creating school-based threat assessment teams; (2) implementing proactive threat identification technology targeting the vulnerable digital anonymity of the school-provided computer; (3) supporting implementation of complementary evidence-supported programs collectively responding to potential threats of violence, self-harm, and harm to others; and (4) using a student mental health screening and support system. Creation of school-based multidisciplinary threat assessment teams will adopt activities aligned with national threat assessment guidelines. The installation of software on district-owned computers will help identify and report behavioral risks to students, including threats of violence, self-harm, and harm to others, with training, technical, and monitoring support ensuring success and sustainability. The implementation of the Columbia Protocol and the Comprehensive School Threat Assessment Guidelines (CSTAG), as well as construction of structured safety and crisis intervention plans, support evidence-based school responses to threats of self-harm and harm to others. The implementation of the early identification system for screening student mental health concerns biannually and using the intervention hub to provide schoolwide and individual student supports will reduce student risks.