Suicide Prevention

If you have concerns when the counselor is not available please contact campus security at (203) 773-8509. If you or someone needs immediate help, please call 911 or go directly to the Yale emergency room.

Transitioning to college can be a difficult and lonely time. Students may feel overwhelmed with the increase in academic and social demands as well as living away from home. These experiences can lead to underlying feelings of depression. Untreated depression is one of the leading causes of suicide. Untreated depression and feeling helpless contribute to students feeling isolated and unable to consider coping skills outside of suicide.

Studies show that up to 75% of students who attempt suicide have demonstrated some type of behavioral or verbal warning sign. The student may appear as quiet, depressed, and socially withdrawn thus it is important that we reach out to the person and help them get the needed treatment.

Warning signs and risk factors are important to know and understand. If you are concern please reach out to the student and be honest and open about your concerns. Help the student get the help they need and follow up to make sure they are connected with services.

  • Feeling anxious and trapped
  • Feeling helpless and hopeless
  • Loss of interest or pleasure
  • Increase difficulties at school
  • Decrease interest in previously enjoyed activities
  • Increase in sleeping
  • Increase in missed classes
  • Giving away favorite possessions
  • Increased writing or talking about death and dying
  • Withdrawing from significant others
  • Increase in substance abuse and risky behaviors
  • Family history of suicide
  • Previous history of suicide attempts
  • Family history of trauma
  • Recent loss in life
  • History of impulsive or aggressive behaviors
  • Threatening to kill or hurt oneself
  • Increase interest in seeking out medication, firearms, or other means

It can be overwhelming when someone is feeling suicidal. Even if the person asks you not to say anything, it is important that you get outside help. There is no specific way to prevent someone from committing suicide, but the information below may help with decreasing the risk.

  • Begin by telling the person that you are concern about them and provide specific reasons why you are concerned.
  • Be calm and non-judgmental.
  • Be accepting; let them know that you are taking their feelings and thoughts seriously.
  • Encourage them to share and ask them if they have a plan to hurt themselves - someone who has a plan is most at risk.
  • Do not be afraid to ask them if they are thinking of committing suicide.
  • Do not leave them alone. If you need to call for help, ask someone else to stay with them.
  • If you are concerned about their immediate safety and it is in the evening, follow up with your RA or DOD.
  • Do not attempt to problem solve or argue them out of their thoughts.
  • Encourage them talk and be an active listener.
  • Provide them with reasons to live (family, children, successes in life, previous dreams, pets, etc.).
  • Encourage them to seek help. Ensure that they follow up with an appointment and outside help.
  • Remind them that depression is treatable.
  • If you think they are in immediate danger, please call 911 or take them to the local emergency room.