Know the Signs and Be Prepared: 5 Ways to Help Prevent Suicide

  • September 20th, 2022

As Suicide Awareness Month ends, the UA Counseling Center wants to remind you that suicide prevention is everyone’s responsibility.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people. Even though it can be a difficult topic to discuss, suicide prevention is a community effort, and it is important to participate in ongoing work to prevent suicide in the community.

The Counseling Center’s Tide Against Suicide initiative wants to bring awareness of prevention skills to faculty, staff, students and families. For students, here are some ways you can become better informed and ready to be a part of the solution to suicide.

Know the signs of suicide.

These are only a few of the possible warning signs of suicide.

  • Previous suicide attempts, especially ones that led to a hospital visit.
  • Talking or thinking about suicide.
  • Feeling hopeless or seeing no other options.
  • Abusing alcohol or drugs.
  • Experiencing recent losses or relationship problems.
  • Feeling trapped by one’s circumstances.

If you have questions regarding other possible signs of suicide, please contact the Counseling Center for assistance.

Build relationships.

Suicide prevention starts with relationships. It is easier to look out for each other and to pay attention to warning signs when we are connected to each other. Be willing to lean into your relationships to provide and ask for support when it is needed. This also makes it easier to ask questions and listen well when we notice someone in our sphere is struggling.

Know campus referral resources.

UA has several resources to support students who may be struggling. You can also access free online self-help tools available through the Counseling Center. Reach out for help from trained volunteers by texting BAMA to 741-741.

Know your limits.

Though you can play an important role in suicide prevention by becoming more comfortable with talking to others who may be struggling, it is important to know that you are never responsible for someone else’s safety or their choices. If you ever feel overwhelmed or overcommitted when supporting someone, or if you feel responsible for someone else’s safety, the Counseling Center can help. Reach out for consultation and support by calling 205-348-3863.

Get involved.

Visit the Tide Against Suicide page to learn more about the initiative and ways you can access training or be a part of the student advisory board. You can also:

  1. Participate in the QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) training series. QPR is a gatekeeper training program that helps attendees be more prepared to identify, engage and refer students who may be struggling with suicide.
  2. Request QPR training for your student group from the Counseling Center at 205-348-3863 or through our program request form.
  3. Take a free 30-minute online training for suicide prevention called Ask, Listen, Refer.

The University of Alabama, part of The University of Alabama System, is the state’s flagship university. UA shapes a better world through its teaching, research and service. With a global reputation for excellence, UA provides an inclusive, forward-thinking environment and nearly 200 degree programs on a beautiful, student-centered campus. A leader in cutting-edge research, UA advances discovery, creative inquiry and knowledge through more than 30 research centers. As the state’s largest higher education institution, UA drives economic growth in Alabama and beyond.