Suicide Threat or Attempt
If someone threatens suicide or manifests other self-destructive behaviors, a student, faculty or staff member’s reaction and responsiveness could result in a positive crisis resolution. Successful intervention involves establishing a supportive relationship with the individual. A University employee is not liable for a breach of confidence when action is taken on behalf of a student whose behavior may be harmful to him/her or others. Counseling services are provided on-campus through the Counseling Center (909-748-8108) for students and through Human Resources (909-748-8040) for employees.
Please note that many of these warning signs are signs of depression. Depression does not necessarily mean that a person is contemplating suicide, but depressed people often think of suicide. There are non-verbal and verbal warning signs that may suggest one is contemplating suicide.
- Giving away personal or prized possessions.
- Making a will or putting other affairs in order.
- Increased alcohol or drug use.
- Sleeping too much or too little.
- Change in eating pattern.
- Lack of interest in personal appearance.
- Lack of interest in friends; withdrawing from others.
- Lack of interest in social activities that were formerly of interest.
- Poor performance in school.
- Boredom, restlessness, and loss of concentration.
- Suddenly happier or calmer—person feels relief in knowing problems will soon be over.
- Preoccupation with death.
- Taking unnecessary risks.
- Visiting or calling people one cares about.
- Statements about hopelessness, helplessness, or worthlessness.
Verbal warning signs may include such statements as:
Ways to help a person who may be suicidal:
- “Instructors, classmates, family, and friends don’t care.”
- ““Lately I’ve been driving my car like I really don’t care what happens.”
- ““I’ve been saving up my pills in case things get really bad.”
- ““People are better off without me.”
- ““Everything seems to be going wrong.”
- ““I don’t need this any more.”
- “ “Life isn’t worthwhile.”
If someone threatens or attempts to commit suicide:
- Talk openly and freely and ask direct questions about the individual’s intention.
- Listen to what is said and treat it seriously.
- Do not argue, debate, or lecture about whether or not suicide is right or wrong.
- Do not swear to secrecy.
- Do not offer platitudes or simple answers.
- Do not challenge the individual or use scare tactics.
- Do not leave the individual alone.
- Get help for the individual by contacting the following:
For students contact the Counseling Center (909-748-8108).
For employees contact Human Resources (909-748-8040).
After hours contact Public Safety (909-748-8888).
- Follow the instructions from counseling services or Public Safety and wait for a representative to arrive and/or accompany the individual to their location. Professional assistance will be determined by qualified professionals.
- If someone threatens to commit suicide notify Public Safety (909-748-8888). If someone has attempted suicide, immediately call 911.
- DO NOT LEAVE the person alone.
- Try to remove the individual calmly but firmly from immediate means of hurting him/herself.
- If the individual has a weapon, do not try to take it physically or through force. Alert emergency responders.
- Keep the area off limits and isolated until Public Safety, emergency medical personnel and/or police arrive.
- Render first aid, if necessary.
- Witnesses should be directed to stay in the area in case police or emergency services personnel need further information.