- If a student is experiencing a mental health crisis and/or at risk of self harm, walk them over to CHWS (M-F 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.). It is helpful to call CHWS (253.879.1555) and let them know you’re on the way, but this is not necessary. If you need support, please call Security Services (253.879.3311).
- If CHWS is closed, or the student is unable to walk to CHWS, stay with the student and call Security Services for immediate assistance.
- Utilize the Uwill 24/7 Crisis Line 833.646.1526. This is a crisis line specifically provided for Puget Sound students through the online therapy platform, Uwill. Within 3 minutes, the student will be connected with a crisis therapist.
- You may also dial 988 to reach the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, or call the Pierce County Crisis Line at 800.576.7764.
Students, Faculty, and Staff: If you are concerned that a student may be engaging in self-harm or considering suicide, please fill out the online report form.
The form goes directly to one of the members of our Review Team during regular business hours (Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.). The Review Team will consider the situation and take what action is possible to provide support and intervention. If there is an immediate threat to someone’s life:
On-Campus – Please call Security Services at 253.879.3311 immediately.
Off-Campus – Please call 911 immediately.
Tips for Working with Distressed Students
How-to: Helping a student potentially at risk for suicide
Know the Warning Signs
IS PATH WARM?
According to the American Association of Suicidology, an individual at acute risk for suicidal behavior will most often display some or many of the following signs:
- I Ideation
- S Substance abuse
- P Purposelessness
- A Anxiety
- T Trapped
- H Hopelessness
- W Withdrawal
- A Anger
- R Recklessness
- M Mood Change
Inform Student of Your Concern
Starting a conversation with a student of concern...
It is an understandable and appropriate response if you feel nervous or anxious about the prospect of speaking with a student about your concern. Knowing that you may be the first and critical contact offering assistance and help to the student in distress may be daunting. However, your efforts can greatly improve the student’s continuing safety and future well-being.
Speak with the student in a location where the conversation will be private, e.g., after class or during office hours.
Research is clear: Initiating questions about whether someone is considering suicide does NOT increase the risk. For many, the opportunity to acknowledge their feelings is a relief.
Initial statements or inquiries that are open-ended may encourage the student to speak up. One example:
I’ve worked (as a teacher or staff) in a campus setting for a number of years and have heard from students that the college experience can sometimes be difficult. I’m wondering how you are doing? Do you ever think about suicide?
Follow emergency procedures (above) if necessary. Please fill out the online report form if you are concerned the student is engaging in self harm or is suicidal.
Be positive and offer the student hope that treatment can be helpful.
Offer resources and CHWS referral information to the student, or walk them over to CHWS to get started.
Develop a plan with the student to seek help.
Ask if the student needs your assistance to initiate referral contact.