Suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students. Most people who contemplate suicide are ambivalent about killing themselves and typically respond to help. Suicidal students usually attempt to communicate their feelings prior to attempting suicide.

High-Risk Indicators Include:

  • Feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, and futility
  • A severe loss or threat of loss
  • A detailed suicidal plan
  • History of a previous attempt
  • History of alcohol or drug abuse
  • Feelings of alienation and isolation


  • Take the student seriously.
  • Acknowledge that a threat of or attempt at suicide is a plea for help.
  • Be available to listen, talk, and express your concern, but refer them to the National Suicide Prevention Helpline at 988 (phone or text). 
  • If you are in need of immediate attention to help a friend, contact Campus Public Safety at 630-844-5450 or x555 on a university phone, or call 911.
  • Take care of yourself. Helping someone who is suicidal is hard, demanding, and draining work.


  • Minimize the situation or depth of feeling, e.g., "Oh it will be much better tomorrow."
  • Over commit yourself and, therefore, not be able to deliver on what you promise.
  • Ignore your limitations.

Additional Resources For Suicide Intervention/Prevention:
Suicide Prevention Services in Batavia 630-482-9699, Depression support line 630-482-9696, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration helpline 800-662-4357.