If you have any concerns about your risk for suicide, or someone you care about, please give us a call at (619) 594-5220, call the San Diego Access and Crisis Line at (888) 724-7240, or dial 911.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students. Most people who contemplate suicide are ambivalent about killing themselves and typically respond to help. Suicidal students usually attempt to communicate their feelings prior to attempting suicide, and this page discusses how to help a student in this situation. Please visit our page on suicidal thoughts for more information on coping with suicidal feelings and additional resources for support.

High risk indicators include:

  • Feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, and futility
  • A severe loss or threat of loss
  • A detailed suicidal plan
  • History of a previous attempt
  • History of alcohol or drug abuse
  • Feelings of alienation and isolation


  • Minimize the situation or depth of feeling, e.g., "Oh it will be much better tomorrow."
  • Over commit yourself and, therefore, not be able to deliver on what you promise.
  • Ignore your limitations.


  • Take the student seriously - 80 percent of individuals who complete suicide give warning of their intent.
  • Acknowledge that a threat of or attempt at suicide is a plea for help.
  • Be available to listen, to talk, to be concerned, but refer the student to the San Diego Crisis Team 1 (888) 724-7240 or to Counseling & Psychological Services (619) 594-5220.
  • Take care of yourself. Helping someone who is suicidal can take a lot of emotional energy.