September 6, 2017

Response to Hurricane Harvey: Impact on F-1 and M-1 Nonimmigrant Students in Affected Areas
Following the impact of Hurricane Harvey on the affected jurisdictions in Texas and Louisiana, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) is requesting certain information in order to provide designated school officials at impacted SEVP-certified schools assistance with maintaining contact with their F-1 and M-1 international students. 
For more information about what to do if your SEVP-certified school has been impacted by the hurricane, visit the  Study in the States blog. You can also find important information about campus resilience and disaster recovery on the  Campus Resilience at SEVP-Certified Schools and  Maintain F and M Status in Emergency Events Study in the States resource pages.

National Preparedness Month
September is an opportune time to review our knowledge about preparedness and learn about actions and plans we can complete in advance of disasters. This year's overarching theme for National Preparedness Month (NPM) is "Disasters Don't Plan Ahead. You Can." The goal is to engage individuals, families, and communities in preparedness actions at home, work, school, and places of worship in order to allow us to help first responders by knowing how to respond during an emergency or when a disaster strikes.
This year, four weekly themes focus on creating individual and community preparation plans.
  • Week 1: September 1-9             Make a Plan for Yourself, Family and Friends
  • Week 2: September 10-16        Plan to Help Your Neighbor and Community
  • Week 3: September 17-23        Practice and Build Out Your Plans
  • Week 4: September 24-30       Get Involved! Be a Part of Something Larger 
The NPM toolkit provides various tips and information for use on your campus or in your community. Suggested social media content is available and the hashtags #natlprep and #planahead can be used on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Additional resources include:
  • Emergency Preparedness Publications: These free publications can be ordered in print form from the FEMA warehouse or downloaded in PDF form. They cover topics such as emergency supply lists, key steps to emergency preparedness, information for pet owners, preparation for people with disabilities, and more.
  • Preparedness Videos: The Ready Campaign's partnership with the Advertising Council created a wide variety of PSAs available in English and Spanish designed to educate viewers on preparing and responding to a number of types of emergencies including hurricanes, tornados, and earthquakes.
  • FEMA app: Download the app to stay up to date and receive information on disaster resources, weather alerts, and safety tips.
  • Ready Campus: Colleges and universities are key emergency management partners to federal, state, and local agencies as well as private and nonprofit organizations. Keeping emergency plans up to date is an important role in this partnership. Find planning information, all hazards guides to preparedness, training assistance, and more at Ready Campus. 
The NPM Toolkit also provides logos, graphics, a sign up for monthly preparedness tips, and links to other information such as the 2017 National Seasonal Preparedness Messaging Calendar and Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), which includes information on Campus CERT and a starter guide. For more information about NPM or any Ready Campaigns, please visit

Suicide Prevention Resources
Each year more than 44,000 Americans die by suicide. In 2015 suicide was the second leading cause of death for those aged 15-24, the age group making up the majority of those enrolled in degree-granting postsecondary institutions. Data (PDF) from the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) indicates college and university students have considered, made a plan to die by, or attempted suicide. These statistics represent our community members - family, friends, colleagues, and peers who have questioned the value of their own lives. Suicide and suicidal thoughts and behaviors can affect anyone regardless of demographic characteristics, and the effects of suicide on loved ones can be severe and far-reaching. In September there are daily, weekly, and monthly observances to aid college and university officials, advocates, and allied health professionals in elevating awareness about simple actions that can help save a life and in promoting prevention and educational efforts.   
First recognized in 2003, World Suicide Prevention Day is observed annually on September 10. This year's theme, "Take a minute, change a life," focuses on the responsibility of individuals, as part of the community, to look out for those who may be struggling, check in with them, and encourage them to share their stories. People who have survived a suicide attempt can teach others about the importance of the words and actions we use. Offering a gentle word of support and listening in a non-judgmental way can make a difference.
National Suicide Prevention Week (September 10-16, 2017) is the Sunday through Saturday surrounding World Suicide Prevention Day. Colleges and universities can create their own activities for National Suicide Prevention Week. Campuses are ideal locations to promote public awareness of the goals of suicide prevention, educate the public about the prevalence of suicide, and involve young adults in prevention activities. The American Association of Suicidology's (AAS's) Information & Media Kit (PDF) contains a wealth of resources such as tips, fact sheets, and sample materials. Visit the following websites for additional resources:
    • American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: Learn more about the September 13 Twitter Chat, find a community or campus walk near you, access shareable social media images, and see what you can do to #StopSuicide.
    • National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention: Join the Thunderclap on September 11 or learn more about existing campaigns (#BeThe1To, #BeThere, and Take 5 to Save Lives) that focus on the importance of being there for others. 
The National Alliance on Mental Illness provides several informational resources for promoting #SuicidePrevention and raising #StigmaFree awareness. On NAMI's website individuals may learn about the warning signs and risk factors for suicide; ways to provide support, be educated, and prevent suicide; and how to be prepared for a crisis. Campuses can get #IntoMentalHealth b y using logos, print graphics, and social media images to help raise awareness for events this month and throughout the year.
The SPRC recently released a four-minute video, Effective Suicide Prevention, which provides a brief overview of their Effective Suicide Prevention Model. The three main elements of the model are comprehensive approach, strategic planning, and keys to success. Access the SPRC website to learn more about implementing suicide prevention in a particular setting such as a school, workplace, or hospital.  

Professional Development Opportunities

Title: Strengthening Campus and Community Collaboration to Address Student Health and Safety
Organization: National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments
Date: September 12, 2017 at 2:00 PM ET
Location: Online
Fee: Free
Title: Advanced Suicide Prevention, Intervention & Postvention
Organization: Justice Clearinghouse
Date: September 20, 2017 at 1:00 PM ET
Location: Online
Fee: Free
Title: IAEM-USA Region 1 Conference
Organization: International Association of Emergency Managers
Date: September 29, 2017
Location: Nashua, NH
Fee: Registration fee

For additional trainings and events, access our searchable online calendar.

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This project was supported by Grant No. 2013-MU-BX-K011 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Bureau of Justice Assistance is a component of the Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Office for Victims of Crime, and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking. Points of view or opinions in this document are those of author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the US Department of Justice.