Guide to Suicide Prevention

This guide is intended to be used to review risk factors for suicide, how to approach students, as well as the resources that are available on campus. A guide can only identify a limited number of important items. Please contact the Counseling Center if you want to talk with a counselor about this guide or about concerns for yourself or a friend.

Counseling Center phone number: 603-646-9442.

Risk Factors

The following can be associated with risk for suicide. In general, the more of these factors a student has experienced and the greater the severity, the higher the risk for suicide:

  • Has suicidal ideation, plans and/or means
  • Previous suicide attempts
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Feelings of hopelessness/despair
  • Off-handed comments about not being around or about death
  • See death as the only way to end their suffering
  • Giving away possessions
  • Recent significant loss
  • Failure to live up to their own or others' expectations
  • Increased isolation/social withdrawal
  • Inability to experience pleasure or have fun
  • Alcohol/other drug use
  • Poor class attendance/poor academic performance
  • Concerns about sexual orientation
  • Change in personality
  • Sexual promiscuity
  • Impulsivity and/or violence
  • Appears to be in a fog
  • Recent sexual assault

How To Approach A Student

  • Listen and acknowledge their pain.
  • Ask directly, “Are you thinking about killing yourself?” This does not increase the risk of a suicide occurring. In fact, students are often relieved to have someone to talk to.
  • Help them feel understood and let them know you care.
  • Avoid judging or inducing guilt.
  • Never agree to keep serious suicidal thoughts in confidence. It is important that a student with serious suicidal thoughts meet with a counseling professional so the student can receive the support they need.
  • Do not leave the person in active crisis alone.
  • Refer them for professional help.

What To Do

  • If the student has made a suicide attempt, call 911 for an ambulance, and Safety & Security at 603-646-3333.
     
  • If the student has expressed suicidal ideation or appears to be in a fog or not thinking clearly, they need to be seen immediately.
    • Call the Counseling Center: 603-646-9442 (during office hours)
    • Call the Dick's House Inpatient Department (IPD): 603-646-9440 (after hours – fall/winter/spring terms)
    • Call Safety & Security: 603-646-3333 (summer and term breaks)
       
  • If you are not sure what to do, or how to proceed, call the Counseling Center (during office hours) or Safety & Security at 603-646-4000 (after hours)
     
  • If you feel the student needs to be seen by a counselor right away and the student refuses, you can contact the Counselor On-call or the Dean On-call by calling Safety & Security at 603-646-3333 for consultation.

Counseling Center Hours

Fall, winter, spring terms: Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Summer term and term breaks: Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.