Suicide/Self-Harm

UNDERSTAND

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

  • Hopelessness/Helplessness
  • Panic/Anxiety
  • Feelings of guilt and/or shame
  • Depression
  • Moodiness
  • Irritability/anger
  • 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

ACT

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.

Intervention Strategies

  • 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.

RESOURCES

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 livewell@uw.edu 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

EXPLORE

The Wellness Wheel and Guide illustrates different types of wellness and provides information and tools available at the UW.

ALWAYS CALL 911

If you or others may be in danger

REPORT THREATS

206-685-SAFE (7233)
For advice and resources

DON'T WALK ALONE

206-685-WALK (9255)
UW safety guards
to walk with you


SafeCampus hotline is available 24/7. Don't hesitate to call if you need help.
206-685-SAFE (7233)