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Faculty, staff, parents, and students may encounter someone who is struggling with emotional pain. Many individuals become overwhelmed by stress at some point in college or life. Additionally, a few people experience traumatic events such as sexual assault, discrimination, hate crimes and/or sexual harassment.
Some of the early signs of someone in need of help include poor academic or work performance, excessive absences, repeated requests for special help, avoiding or dominating discussions, excessive anxiety when speaking in class, disruptive behavior, troubling emails or remarks on social media, references to suicide or isolation from family.
Signs and concerns:
- Depressed mood
- Excessive crying
- Hopelessness or helplessness
- Talking about feeling trapped
- Angry outbursts
- Changes in personal hygiene
- Dramatic weight loss or gain
- Strange or bizarre behavior
- Recent loss or break-up
- Lack of social support
- Isolating from friends or family
- Academic failure or perceived failure
- Financial stress
- Previous suicide attempt
- Close friend/family who died by suicide
Mental health crisis red flags (get help right away)
- Having a plan for suicide
- Having access to means of suicide (pills, gun, etc.)
- Putting affairs in order, like giving away possessions
- Talking about the future without them in it, “I won’t be here by then.”
- Dramatic mood changes, including suddenly seeming to get better for no reason
If you are concerned about someone, trust your instincts. Share your concerns with someone who can help; don't keep quiet. Reporting concerns get people connected with help and support.
- UCARE: Members of the campus community are encouraged to contact UCARE when concerned about a student, regardless of how insignificant the concern may seem. Doing so assists UCARE in collecting various pieces of the puzzle to connect the student with appropriate resources and support. Share a concern
- Title IX: Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities which receive federal financial assistance and prohibits sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, and other forms of sexual discrimination. Incident Report Online
Consult with a person about your concerns:
- Patti J. Fleck, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Counseling Services, 573-341-4211
- Krista Morris-Lehman, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, Care Coordination, 573-341-4211
- Barb S. Prewett, email@example.com, Office of the Dean of Students, 573-341-4209
- Neil Outar, J. D., firstname.lastname@example.org, Interim Title IX Coordinator, 573-341-6038, After Hours: 573-202-4185
If the person denies suicidal thoughts and you still have concerns about his or her safety, let the person know by saying something like: “You say you aren’t going to kill yourself, but I'm still concerned about you.”
After expressing your continued concern, you have the following options for dealing with the denial:
- Reassure the person that help is available and that you will help them get it.
- Encourage the person to identify their resources and help the person get connected.
- Consider calling parents or involving significant others, consulting with a mental health professional, or contacting other appropriate resources like a Resident Director.
- Trust your instincts that the person may be in trouble.
- Take the person directly to the appropriate source of help.
- Make sure the person is not left alone until the immediate crisis has passed.
Make time to engage in self-care like listening to music, connecting with friends/family, enjoying a hobby, or taking a walk. Most people can benefit from counseling and do not have to be in crisis to seek assistance. If you would like support from a mental health professional, call or visit the Counseling department today.
Suicide Prevention Training
Ask. Listen. Refer. — The Missouri S&T Suicide Prevention Training Program was designed to help faculty, staff, and students prevent suicide by teaching you to:
- identify people at risk for suicide
- recognize the risk factors, protective factors, and warning signs of suicide
- respond to and get help for people at risk
Suicide Prevention Hotlines
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255), suicidepreventionlifeline.org
- Veterans'Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 (press 1), send a text message to 838255, or veteranscrisisline.net
- Trevor Lifeline for LGBTQ: 1-866-488-7386 or text TREVOR to 1-202-304-1200
- Crisis Text Line: Text CONNECT to 741741