National Crisis Hotlines
Counseling & Psychological Services (available 24/7) 740-593-1616
OU Police Department 911 or 740-593-1911
Athens County Crisis Hotline 740-593-3344
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
- English 1-800-273 TALK (8255)
- Spanish 1-800-628-9454
- Deaf/Hard of Hearing 1-800-799-4889
Veterans Crisis Line 1-800-273-8255
LGBTQ Youth Crisis Hotline (Trevor Project) 866-488-7386
TransLifeline (Available every day, 10 am - 4am EST) 877-565-8860
Crisis Text Line Text HOME to 741741 in the U.S.
How to Talk to Someone Who is Suicidal and Provide Emotional Support
- Ask directly, and talk openly about their thoughts if they are thinking about suicide.
- Communicate your care and concern for them.
- Listen to what they are sharing and take it seriously; avoid minimizing, judging, lecturing, and/or guilting.
- Offer support and show interest in their concerns.
- Don't swear to secrecy. When someone tells you they want to die by suicide always consult with others and seek support.
- Help this person find assistance.
- Stay involved; it's ok to check in on the person and see how they're doing after they've received help.
Please note: If the person you are talking to is in immediate danger do not leave them alone. Dial 911 from a landline or if you are off-campus. Dial OUPD Emergency 740-593-1911 from a cell phone if you are on campus.
If there is no immediate safety concerns but you are worried about a friend/student, CPS staff would be happy to provide support to you. To speak with a counselor/consult about an emergency 24/7 call: 740-593-1616
When you're worried about a student or classmate, also consider calling the Office of the Dean of Students directly at 740-593-1800 or visit their website
Suicide Warning Signs
It is important to recognize the warning signs that may indicate someone is contemplating suicide because it increases the likelihood of early detection and intervention with people who are in crisis, and this is associated with improved outcomes. It is important to remember these warning signs do NOT directly predict a suicide attempt; rather, the greater number of warning signs that are present, the greater likelihood that an individual is contemplating suicide.
- Someone threatening to hurt or kill themselves
- Someone looking for ways to kill themselves, such as seeking access to pills, weapons, or other means
- Someone talking or writing about death, dying, or suicide
- Rage, anger, seeking revenge
- Feeling trapped
- Increased drug/alcohol use
- Withdrawing from friends/family
- Anxiety, agitation, inability to sleep
- Dramatic changes in mood
- Indication of not being able to identify a reason for living or seeking a purpose in life
- Major changes in a person's routine
Common Misconceptions about Suicidality
- People who engage in self-harm want to kill themselves.
- Many times, people who engage in self-harm behaviors are doing it cope with intense negative emotions and do not want to kill themselves. Even though they are not necessarily trying to end their life, studies show that people who have been injuring themselves over a long period of time have a higher risk for suicidal thoughts, gestures, and attempts. For this reason alone, it is important to ask whether the person is having suicidal thoughts.
- Talking about suicide gives the idea.
- Asking someone if they are thinking about suicide is one of the most helpful things you can do, as it helps a person who is thinking about suicide feel understood and demonstrate that you understand the amount of suffering that the person is experiencing.
- There is no preventing someone from acting on these thoughts.
- Many individuals contemplating suicide do not want to die, they want to end their pain and suffering. Listening, empathizing, validating, and connecting the individual to mental health resources are some of the most helpful things you can do.
- People who talk about suicide don't want to kill themselves.
- Most individuals who have attempted or died by suicide have given warning signs. Do not ignore suicide threats.
Bobcats Who Care is an interactive gatekeeper training program designed to help you respond to individuals in crisis. It will help you develop empathic listening and relationship building skills that will enable you to talk comfortably with someone who is very depressed, and help you connect that person to professional support. On the Bobcats Who Care page, you will find a short video, information about our program as well as a link to our training request form.
On our resource page, you can find resources located within Ohio University, in the Athens community, and nationally.