Suicide concerns

If you are thinking about suicide; are worried about a friend, student or colleague; or need emotional support, we’re here for you. Know that you are not alone.

We can all play a role in noticing potential warning signs and connecting suicidal individuals to appropriate supports. Thank you for your care toward your friends, colleagues or students when these situations arise.

Suicide affects people of all races, genders, sexual orientations, social classes, ages and abilities.

Know the signs

  • Talking about wanting to die or feelings of hopelessness
  • Talking about feeling trapped or wanting to escape
  • Becoming isolated or withdrawn
  • Feeling of being a burden to others
  • Increasing use of alcohol or drugs
  • Extreme mood swings

Know the risk factors

  • Access to lethal means
  • Experiencing a profound loss — death of a friend or family member, end of a relationship, job loss, denied acceptance to an academic major or graduate school
  • Mental illness — depression or anxiety
  • Lack of social support
  • History of trauma or abuse

Checking in with someone who may be suicidal

If you think a student or colleague is considering suicide, stay calm, but take your concerns seriously. It’s important to consult with others before and after talking to someone about suicide. Call SafeCampus to consider your next steps and get coaching on how to ask about suicide. Checking in with someone will not increase the chances of suicide.

Take the following five steps if you are concerned for someone:

  • Ask: “Are you thinking about suicide?” “How can I help?”
  • Keep them safe: Ask: “Do you have a specific plan?” “Do you have access to your planned method?”
  • Be there: When concerned, stay physically present with someone or continue talking or texting with them.
  • Help them connect:
    • If you think someone is in immediate risk, call 911.
    • If you are not sure what to do, call SafeCampus at 206-685-7233.
    • Let them know there are UW resources available to them.
  • Follow-up: Follow up to see how they’re doing. Leave a message, send a text or ask to meet in person to check in.


24/7 Suicide & Mental Health Crisis Support

Students of any UW campus: My SSP provides access to real-time, confidential mental health and crisis intervention support, 24/7 and in multiple languages. Any UW student can access this support, no matter where they are currently living. There are several ways to connect:

  •  Phone: Call 1.866.743.7732
    • (If calling from outside the US or Canada, dial 001.416.380.6578).
  • Online chat: Chat with a My SSP counselor on the My SSP website
  • My SSP app (Apple App Store | Google Play)

Employees of any UW Campus: WA Employee Assistance Program (WA EAP) connects you with experts who help you or your family members navigate life’s challenges (24/7) at 877-313-4455. 

If you are in need of immediate support for yourself or others: Call 988 to access the free Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, 24/7 crisis support around thoughts of suicide, mental health crisis, or substance use concerns.