Suicidal Students

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students. Most people who contemplate suicide are ambivalent about killing themself and typically respond to help. Suicidal students usually attempt to communicate their feelings prior to attempting suicide.

High risk indicators include:

  • Feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, and futility.
  • A severe loss or threat of loss.
  • A detailed suicidal plan.
  • History of a previous attempt.
  • History of alcohol or drug abuse.
  • Feelings of alienation and isolation.

Do:

  • Take the student seriously - 80 percent of suicides give warning of their intent.
  • Acknowledge that a threat of or attempt at suicide is a plea for help.
  • Be available to listen, to talk, to be concerned, but refer the student to Crisis Line of the Fox Valley at 630-482-9393 or to Counseling Services (630-844-5118).
  • If the student is in imminent danger call 911.
  • Take care of yourself. Helping someone who is suicidal is hard, demanding, and draining work.

Don't:

  • Minimize the situation or depth of feeling, e.g., "Oh, you'll get over it."
  • Over-commit yourself and, therefore, not be able to deliver on what you promise.
  • Ignore your limitations.