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Suicide Prevention

Suicide. It’s tough to talk about, but learning the facts and signs can save a life.

Students and suicide

College students can face serious mental and behavioral health issues, including depression and binge drinking. The challenge for mental health professionals is how to identify and help them; nationwide, fewer than 20% of students who die by suicide are past or current clients of their school’s counseling center.

However, students who do connect with services often benefit significantly. UMass Amherst surveys have shown that over 80% of those who sought mental health care said services helped them stay in school and improve academic performance.

Suicide myths and facts

People who talk about suicide won’t really do it.

Fact: Almost everyone who attempts suicide has given some clue or warning. Don’t ignore suicide statements.

If a person’s going to attempt suicide, nothing will stop them.

Fact: Most who attempt suicide remain uncertain of the decision until the final moment. Most suicidal people don’t wish for death – they wish for the pain to stop.

People who commit suicide are unwilling to seek help.

Fact: Studies show that more than half of suicide victims sought professional help within six months of their death.

Anyone who attempts suicide must be psychotic or insane.

Fact: Most people who commit suicide aren’t psychotic, although many are depressed.

Talking about suicide may give someone the idea.

Fact: Talking about suicide doesn’t give someone suicidal thoughts – the opposite is true. Bringing up the subject and talking about it is one of the most helpful things you can do. It helps a suicidal person feel understood and shows you understand the suffering the person’s experiencing.

Feel like there’s nowhere to turn? The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is free, confidential and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Suicide warning signs


Increased impulsivity, risk-taking


Uncontrollable anger or anxiety

Obsession with death

Feelings of being trapped

“There’s no way out.”

“Ending” statements
“I want it to end.”
“I want to be done with this.”
“I don’t want to wake up again.”
“I won’t be here anymore.”