Each year, sadly, the UW loses community members to suicide. Suicide and self-harm affect people of all races, genders, sexual orientations, social classes, ages, and abilities.
Learn the warning signs and how to help those who may be considering harming themselves. If you are considering suicide, there is help for you.
Some Warning Signs of Suicide Information adapted from The Crisis Clinic
Potential Emotional Indicators
- Feelings of guilt and/or shame
- Increased crying
- Persistently sad or "empty" mood
- Sudden euphoria or happy/calm mood
- Feelings of worthlessness
Potential Behavioral Indicators
- Talking about suicide, making a plan, or preoccupation with death
- Giving prized possessions away
- Change in weight/appetite
- Increase or decrease in sleep
- Dangerous or impulsive behavior
- Injuring self
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- Previous suicide attempts
- Family history of suicide attempts
- Withdrawal from family/friends
- Preparation for death (i.e. setting one's affairs in order)
- Loss of interest in things that one normally cares about
If you think your friend or colleague is considering suicide, stay calm, but take your suspicion seriously. The following are actions you can take to possibly save a life.
- Ask the person, "Are you thinking about killing yourself?" If a person has been thinking of suicide, he or she will be relieved and grateful that you were willing to be so open and non judgmental.
- If their reply is "yes," ask, "Do you have a plan?" and "Do you have access to your method?" (examples: gun, rope, medication, carbon monoxide).
- Next, ask "When will you do it?" Asking this question will give you an idea whether or not the person is in immediate danger. If you feel he or she is, do NOT leave them alone. A suicidal person must see a doctor or psychiatrist immediately.
Do not try to minimize the person's problems by telling him or her how hurt their family would be or that they have everything to live for. The person needs to be reassured that there is help available, that what he or she is feeling is treatable, and that his or her suicidal feelings are temporary. Never keep a plan for suicide a secret.
UW Resources for Students
- Health & Wellness Suicide Intervention Program
- Health and Wellness can connect you to mental health services on- and off-campus, while working with you to alleviate aspects of your life causing stress. To speak with someone, email email@example.com or call 206-543-6085. If you need to speak to someone right away, please call the King County Crisis Clinic at 866-427-4747 or 206-461-3222, any time of day or night.
UW Resources for Faculty and Staff
- UW CareLink
- The UW CareLink program offers short-term confidential counseling services for faculty and staff at no cost. Call toll-free: 1-866-598-3978 (TTY: 1-877-334-0489). Master's-level counselors are available to take your call 24/7.
Off-Campus Resources Open to Everyone
- King County Crisis Clinic
- The King County Crisis Clinic provides counseling services 24/7. Call toll-free: 866-427-4747 or TTY/TDD 206-461-3219
The Wellness Wheel and Guide illustrates different types of wellness and provides information and tools available at the UW.
SafeCampus hotline is available 24/7. Don't hesitate to call if you need help.