College is a major transition that presents a variety of issues for students due to new responsibilities, internal and external pressures, expanding personal independence, homesickness, and social demands. According to the American College Health Association National College Health Assessment Survey (2011), many college students are experiencing emotional distress leading to sadness, loneliness, anxiety, and depression. The following are warning signs that a student may be at risk for suicide:
MYTH: Students who talk about killing themselves rarely commit suicide.
FACT: Most people (75%) who commit suicide have given some verbal clues or warning of their intention. Pay attention to student’s verbal and nonverbal behavior for warning signs. Examples of direct statements that warrant immediate action:
MYTH: If you ask a student about their suicidal intentions, you will only encourage them to kill themselves.
FACT: Actually the opposite is true. Asking a student directly about their suicidal intentions will often lower their anxiety level and act as a deterrent to suicidal behavior by encouraging them to express pent up emotions. If you have concerns about a student, ask directly.
Counseling Services 474-2420
(after hours, the automated system instructs you how to page counselor on call)
Campus Police 474-2415
Lakeview Center Helpline 438-1617
Hopeline Network 800-SUICIDE (784-2433)
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 800-273-TALK (273-8255)
If you would like to learn more about how to identify suicide risk factors and ways to intervene with a student in crisis, you can request a free QPR suicide prevention training for your department. Contact April Glenn for more information.