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Sixty-seven percent of college students tell a friend that they are feeling suicidal before telling anyone else.
Coordinator | Health and Wellness Services
North Hall | Room 060
Statistics show that you are more likely to encounter someone (friend, student, coworker or member of the community) in an emotional or mental health crisis than someone having a heart attack. Suicidal ideation is not because someone is wanting to die or that they are weak; rather, they are wanting to end the pain that has become unbearable. Being a caring person who can listen and find help may mean all the difference in a person’s life.
Suicidality is not a phase or a way to seek attention. Individuals who are suicidal are reaching out for help.
Is the person making direct statements about self or other harm with immediate thoughts/plan/means/access/intent?
Is the person under the influence of alcohol or drugs that could lead to harm?
Is the person that you are concerned about showing any of the following signs? Use the mnemonic "IS PATH WARM" as an easy way to learn and remember the signs of suicide.
If there has been any self or other harmful action taken by the distressed person, call 9-1-1 first and then call Edison State Security at 937.778.7820. In certain situations, you must often make a judgment call.
Someone at mild risk (someone with a mental health concern without risk of suicide) can be provided with the contact information to the Edison State Coordinator of Health and Wellness Services. You may also refer the individual to the Edison State
website page for additional resources.
Always provide the person with the Crisis Call Lifeline 800.273.8255.TALK (8255) and the Crisis Text Line—text START to 741741.
A person does not need to be suicidal to utilize these services. The crisis line professionals will speak to individuals who may be distressed for any number of reasons. A person may be experiencing distress due to employment difficulties; they may be seeking help for a friend; or they may just be feeling lonely.
After hours, call the Crisis Call Lifeline 800.273.8255.TALK (8255). You may also utilize the online Edison State CARE Team Referral Form.
Someone at a high risk for suicide will show the signs as described in the previous tab. They may make direct statements about self or other harm with an immediate plan. The person may have the means or access to ways to harm themselves. They may be under the influence of alcohol or drugs that could lead to harm.
Even without immediate plans or access to harmful means, a direct statement about suicide should be taken seriously. You may receive the information by a variety of sources: in-person, by phone or by email.
In Person, On Campus | When responding to an at-risk individual in person on campus, please do the following:
In Person, Off Campus | When responding to an at-risk individual in person off campus, please do the following:
By Phone | When responding to an at-risk individual via phone, please do the following:
By Email | When responding to an at-risk individual via email, please do the following:
When you are worried about someone, you may be concerned about saying or doing the wrong thing. It is not about saying exactly the right words. The important thing to do is to show you care. Listen to the person without judgment. Remain patient and accepting.
The conversation might seem negative and uncomfortable, but talking is always a positive step. Share campus resources and refer the person to the self-help section on the Edison State website located here.
You can ask the at-risk individual:
You may also want to express the following:
When the police arrive, they will want to have a conversation with the distressed person to understand the situation.
Police officers care first and foremost about their safety. They are there to support individuals in difficult situations. Neither the caller nor the person in distress are in trouble. The police will transport the distressed student to the hospital if needed unless it is a medical emergency, in which case paramedics will be notified.
After this crisis has been resolved, you should consult with the Coordinator of Health and Wellness Services. Seeing a friend or colleague in distress can be traumatic and it is important that you speak with someone about what has occurred.
Being an advocate for another person does not necessarily need to be learned. The most important thing that you can do is be empathic to an individual that is in need. It's important to listen, to support and to help and individual find help if necessary. Regardless, additional training is always helpful.
Interested in learning more about how to help someone at risk for suicide? Visit the Tri-County Board of Mental Health and Recovery website. They offer Mental Health First Aid training to those interested in learning how to help people in distress.