Know the Warning Signs
IS PATH WARM?
According to the American Association of Suicidology, an individual at acute risk for suicidal behavior will most often display some or many of the following signs:
- I Ideation
S Substance abuse
- P Purposelessness
- A Anxiety
- T Trapped
- W Withdrawal
- A Anger
- R Recklessness
- M Mood Change
- First, consult with the Emergency Response Team to notify them of your concern.
- Inform the student of your concern.
Starting the Conversation with a Student
It is an understandable and appropriate response if you feel nervous or anxious about the prospect of speaking with a student about your concern for him/her. Knowing that you may be the first and critical contact offering assistance and help to the student in distress may be daunting. However, your efforts greatly improve the student's continuing safety and future well-being.
Speak with the student in a location where the conversation will be private, e.g., after class or during office hours.
Initial statements or inquiries that are open-ended may encourage the student to speak, such as:
"I've worked (as a teacher or staff) in a campus setting for a number of years and have heard from students that the college experience can sometimes be difficult. I'm wondering how you are doing?"
- Be positive and offer the student hope that treatment is necessary.
- Offer resource and referral information to the student.
- Develop a plan with the student to seek help.
- Initiate referral contact.
- Walk student to Student Health Center or call over there at for assistance [(510) 659-6258]. Do not let the student leave your office without notifying the Emergency Response Team.
See Crisis Resources for 24-hour help and other resources.