How You Can Help
Friends, Family, Coworkers, Professors, Roommates, RAs, Anyone…
Here are signs that someone may be having emotional troubles:
- Withdrawal from social activities
- Loss of interest in schoolwork, work and other activities
- Abrupt changes in behavior, mood or appearance
- Sleeping or eating problems
- Low energy, excessive guilt or low self-esteem
- Pursuit of dangerous activities
- Preoccupation with death and dying
- Reference to death or suicide in conversation, jokes or writings
- Drug or alcohol problems
- Reference to previous suicide attempts
Here are some suggestions about what you can do to help that person:
- Take the signs seriously.
- Ask to talk to the person.
- Say you are concerned and point out what you’ve noticed.
- Be willing to listen. Don’t judge, give advice or try to cheer him/her up.
- If it’s unclear that the person is suicidal, ask, “Have things gotten so bad that you’re actually thinking of hurting yourself?” Asking about suicide is a sign of caring.
- Don’t be sworn to secrecy. Say that you need to talk with someone to make sure he/she is safe.
- If the person is acutely suicidal, they may do something right away. Don’t leave them alone. Have someone else promptly call 911 and campus security.