No institution can guarantee students will never attempt or complete suicide and no single prevention effort can best serve all students. At the University of Puget Sound we implement many different strategies contributing to our overall suicide prevention program. The following are steps based on current research and best practice approaches.
CHWS services are advertised to all incoming students via a brochure sent to their homes prior to arrival on campus.
Trained mental health professionals in CHWS (253.879.1555) are available free of charge to all students enrolled at Puget Sound.
Advanced training and supervision: Pre-doctoral psychology interns at CHWS receive specific advanced training and supervision in suicide assessment, intervention and documentation.
Experienced medical staff: CHWS medical staff are experienced working with mental health issues in the college population.
Psychiatric evaluation and treatment is available on campus via referral from one of the CHWS professional staff.
Referral to professionals in the community is provided when off-campus treatment is preferred by a student, or when CHWS staff are not able to meet treatment needs.
Campus Security (253.879.3311) is on duty 24/7. Our Security staff can connect to other Puget Sound support staff or Tacoma emergency services as needed.
Transportation to local hospitals: If urgent transportation to a local hospital is needed, but an ambulance is not necessary, staff in Campus Security, CHWS, or the Dean of Students Office can arrange for taxi service.
Paraprofessionals training: Resident Directors, RAs, RCCs, and GHCs living in campus residence units annually receive training in suicide awareness, prevention and referral skills.
No Weapons Policy: Reducing access to weapons is a proven approach to reducing suicides. Weapons are not allowed on our campus. See the Firearms/Weapons Policy.
Student Alert Group: Composed of administrators from Academic Affairs and Student Affairs, this committee meets weekly to coordinate individualized responses to support students who are identified as struggling.
Medical Withdrawal Policy: If a medical or mental health issue makes it impossible for a student to complete a semester, the University of Puget Sound allows students to petition for a Medical Withdrawal. See the Academic Handbook for information about Medical Withdrawals.
Emergency Administrative Withdrawal Policy: Emergency Administrative Withdrawal may be an appropriate response to a sudden and catastrophic incident in a student's life that prevents a student from completing the semester's work. See the Academic Handbook for information about Emergency Administrative Withdrawals.
Faculty availability and training: Puget Sound faculty have available to them information about mental health issues common in the college population and are frequently reminded about the support services available on campus. Faculty here have a relatively small number of advisees, enabling familiarity with most students.
Mandated Assessment of Risk of Suicidality and Self Harm (MARSSH): In cases where there is concern that a student might put him/herself at risk, the university may require participation in a psychological assessment. For more information about the MARSSH protocol, check out the following documents: MARSSH Protocol Explanation, Suicide Incident Report, MARSSH Diclosure Statement and MARSSH FAQs.