Suicide Prevention

College is a time of change and transition for students. Individuals respond uniquely to the challenges they face during this adjustment phase. While some students are able to make a smooth transition, others may experience a lot of stress. In addition to the tricky time of entering college, there are other life and academic stressors that students must face as they complete their studies. Some students become so overwhelmed they can go into a deep depression, where they seek relief from their psychological pain by thinking about or trying to commit suicide. Mental health and/or substance-abuse disorders are major risk factors for suicide.

CAPS provides frontline prevention services by being able to comprehensively assess the risk factors for potential suicide of a student who engages CAPS services. Based on the determined level of risk, the  professional staff at CAPS will direct the student to the appropriate level of care either within CAPS or to another mental health provider, while doing so with care, compassion, respect, confidentiality, and , and and  and, and  the utmost concern for the student's safety and well-being .

Various types of therapy can effectively reduce suicide risk. Some medications may also help.

Potential warning signs

While there are no guarantees of knowing when someone is having thoughts about suicide, the following Potential Warning Signs of Suicide might help you be more aware of the possibility that a student is considering hurting themselves:

  • A sudden decrease in academic performance
  • Fixation/preoccupation with death or violence
  • Unhealthy relationships
  • Personal crisis such as major losses or rejections
  • Violent mood swings or/and sudden change in personality
  • Signs indicating that the student is in an abusive relationship
  • Signs of an eating disorder
  • Difficulty in adjusting to gender identity
  • Depression

Other warning signs that demand immediate action:

  • When a persona announces that he/she plans to end their life
  • Writing about suicide or death or talking about it
  • Saying statements such as:
    • "I just don't want to be alive."
    • "I'm going to end it all.I wish I were dead."
    • "My life has no meaning."
    • "Everyone will be better off without me."
    • "There is no point to living."
    • "Soon you won't have to worry about me."
    • "Who cares if I'm dead, anyway?"
    • "I can't go on anymore."
    • "Life isn't worth living."
  • Withdrawing from friends and preferring to stay alone most of the time
  • Giving away prized possessions
  • Obtaining a weapon to hurt him or herself (including prescription medication)

These warning signs alone may not be a foolproof way of determining that someone is thinking about harming themselves, however they may mean that a friend, classmate, or student has serious problems that warrants attention.