Suicidal thoughts can be common. Suicidal acts, threats and attempts are less common, but more frequent than most people realize.
Research shows that 50% to 75% of those who attempt suicide give some warming signs, either verbal or behavioral. The vast majority of all suicidal people want to live, if only they can be shown the way to help. Most often, feelings of suicide are a primary symptom of untreated depression. Although most depressed people are not suicidal, most suicidal people are depressed.
Clues and warning signs come in several forms, but once understood they are not difficult to recognize. Please take them seriously.
Warning signs of suicide include:
- Unrelenting low mood
- Feeling hopeless, helpless, inappropriate guilt
- Feeling anxious, trapped
- Dramatic mood changes or unexpected rage or anger
- Loss of interest or pleasure
- Withdrawing from friends or family
- Difficulties at school and/or work
- Dropping out of usual activities
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Increased alcohol, drug use or other risky behavior or impulsiveness
- Giving away favorite possessions
- Talking or writing about death, dying, or suicide
If you are concerned about a friend or peer on campus:
- Start by telling the person you are concerned and give him/her examples of why you are concerned
- Acknowledge the student’s pain
- Be direct! Don't be afraid to ask whether he/she is considering suicide, or if he/she has a particular plan or method in mind
- Do not attempt to argue someone out of suicide
- Take action and seek help
How to seek professional help:
- Call the Counseling Center at 203-371-7955 and inform the receptionist that you are walking a student down to the Counseling Center. Counseling Center hours are Monday-Friday between 9AM – 5PM.
- If it is after hours or on the weekend and you live on campus, notify your RA or DOD. Do not leave the student alone.
- If you live off campus or the student of concern is a commuter, call Public Safety at 203-371-7911
Suicide Prevention Hotline
The following hotline is available 24-hours a day to assist you if you need to speak to someone anonymously for advice and guidance: