How to Help
There are a few ways that you can address someone you believe may be having a difficult time or thinking about suicide.
- Express care and concern – Contrary to messages about ‘minding your own business’ it is important to create a community of caring by
- Discuss specific behaviors – The person who is feeling down may not realize their demeanor is noticeable to others. When you express concern, let the person know what you have noticed without blaming or shaming them. (Ex: “I noticed the past few times we’ve all gone to the Pit together as a hall, you stay behind and rarely eat. You seem sad a lot, too. I’m concerned about you and wanted to see if you wanted to talk.”)
- Know options for help – The Counseling Center, Chaplain’s Office, Intercultural Center, LGBTQ Center all have staff members who are there to help students. The Office of Academic Advising is available for students whose stressors are focused on an academic class. Student Financial Services may be able to provide helpful information for students experiencing financial issues. A few options are suggesting these resources as a source of support and/or offering to walk there with the person you’re concerned about.
Not everyone feels comfortable with directly confronting a person they feel is having trouble. If you feel unsure of what to say or how to go about approaching the conversation, there are other ways to address the situation.
- Describe your concerns to your RA, who is trained to handle situations with residents.
- Call and consult with a counselor at the Counseling Center, who can help you with how to talk to the person or help you manage your own stress surrounding the situation.
- Consult with another staff member who can provide options for campus resources.
Counseling Center Emergency Appointments
The Counseling Center offers Triage or emergency appointments on a daily basis. Spots on a counselor’s calendar are left open in the event that a person needs to be seen right away. You can come to the Counseling Center if you are in crisis whether you have an appointment or not, and we will make accommodations for you to be seen as quickly as possible. Students may walk in or call ahead and request triage spots.
Emergency Room/Hospital Visit
If a person has made an attempt at suicide the most appropriate option to physically and medically stabilize them is going to the hospital. Once the person has been medically attended to, options for mental health treatment in an outpatient setting can be explored.