Are you thinking about suicide? Or are you seeing concerning behaviors in a colleague, a student, or a friend? We’re here for you. You are not alone. Always call 911 when it’s urgent, or call SafeCampus at 206-685-SAFE (206-685-7233).
Each year, sadly, the UW loses community members to suicide. Suicide affects 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. It can be important to consult with others before and after talking to someone about suicide, call SafeCampus to consider your next steps. The following are actions you can take.
- 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 nonjudgmental.
- If their reply is “Yes,” ask, “Do you have a plan?” and “Do you have access to your method?” (i.e., 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.
SafeCampus (available to UW community)
SafeCampus is the central reporting office if you are concerned for yourself or a friend. We have trained specialists who will take your call, connect you with resources, and put safety measures in place to reduce the chances of violence occurring. We are available 24/7.
Health and Wellness Suicide Intervention Program (available to UW students)
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.
UW Counseling Center (available to UW students)
The UW Counseling Center supports students in all aspects of their development, providing personal and career counseling, study skills assistance, and other services to those currently enrolled. The Center is ready to respond to students in crisis situations. Consultations with faculty, staff, and parents who have concerns about a student are also available.
UW CareLink (available to benefits-eligible faculty and staff)
- TTY/TDD: 877-334-0489
The UW CareLink program offers short-term confidential counseling services for faculty and staff at no cost. Master’s-level counselors are available to take your call, any time day or night.
Off-Campus Resources Open to Everyone
King County Crisis Clinic
- TTY/TDD: 206-461-3219
The King County Crisis Clinic provides counseling services any time day or night.