Suicide

What is it?

Suicide, the third-leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 15-24, is a very important issue on college campuses. Roughly 1,100 suicides occur on university campuses each year -- all of which can be prevented.

Provided below is important information on helping a friend or loved one who may be contemplating suicide. If you or someone you know is considering self-harm or suicide, please contact the following resources:

National Suicide Prevention Hotline
1-800-273-TALK (8255)
http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

Counseling & Psychiatric Services (CAPS)
One Darnall Hall
To make an appointment: (202) 687-6985
After hours clinician on-call: (202) 444-7243
http://studenthealth.georgetown.edu/mental-health/

Georgetown Emergency Response Medical Service (GERMS)
206 Village C West
(202) 687-HELP
www.georgetownems.org

Georgetown Hospital Emergency Room
3800 Reservoir Road, NW
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 444-2119
http://www.georgetownuniversityhospital.org/body_dept_home.cfm?id=388

Signs and Symptoms

 

Thoughts and feelings of harming or killing oneself can be defined as suicidal ideation. While it is complex and dependent on a variety of factors, suicidal ideation can be a symptom of depression. Individuals who experience thoughts of suicide often perceive a crisis as inescapable.

Anyone who expresses suicidal intentions should be taken very seriously. Do not leave the individual alone, and reach out to professional resources immediately. Seek help if your friend or loved one:

  • Begins talking about suicide, specifically making statements such as “I wish I hadn’t been born” or “I’m going to kill myself.”
  • Searches for or secures the means the commit suicide, such as purchasing firearms, pills, ropes, etc.
  • Talks about feeling hopeless, or having no reason to live.
  • Suddenly begins to isolate or withdraw from social contact.
  • Increases or suddenly begins use of alcohol and other drugs.
  • Begins to display dramatic mood swings.
  • Develops sharp personality changes, such as being very outgoing after previously being shy.
  • Makes serious changes to their normal routine, including eating and sleeping patterns.
  • Seems preoccupied with death.
  • Discusses having a “death wish,” or engages in risks that could lead to death, such as driving through red lights.
  • Begins to put affairs in order, tie up loose ends, or change a will.

 

What to do if suicidal ideation is suspected

 

If someone you know is experiencing thoughts of suicide:

  • Have an honest discussion with the person who may be suicidal. There is no harm in bringing up the topic, especially if it may save someone’s life.
  • Be willing to listen. Allow the person to express their feelings. Be non-judgmental as to what he or she tells you.
  • Do not leave him or her alone. Suggest to the student that they call the Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS) at (202) 687-6985.
  • For emergencies on weekends or after hours, a Counseling Center on-call clinician is available by calling (202) 444-7243.
  • Walk the student to Counseling and Psychiatric Services, particularly in a crisis.
  • Suggest the student calls the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • When uncertain of what actions to take, call the CAPS Intake Coordinator at (202) 687-6985 to work out a specific strategy for getting a particularly reluctant or troubled student help.
  • Eliminate access to firearms or other potential tools for suicide, including medications.
  • Never promise to keep intentions of suicide a secret.
  • Call GERMS for transport to the nearest hospital emergency room or phone 911.

 

University Resources

 

Counseling & Psychiatric Services (CAPS)
One Darnall Hall
To make an appointment: (202) 687-6985
After hours clinician on-call: (202) 444-7243
http://studenthealth.georgetown.edu/mental-health/

Georgetown Emergency Response Medical Service (GERMS)
Village C West 206
(202) 687-4357
www.georgetownems.org

Student Health Center
Darnall Hall Ground Floor
To make an appointmentt: (202) 687-2200
After hours clinician on-call: (202) 444-7243
http://studenthealth.georgetown.edu/medical-care/

Health Education Services
1437 37th St NW, Poulton Hall Suite 101
(202) 687-8949
http://studenthealth.georgetown.edu/health-promotion/

Campus Ministry
Healy 113
(202) 687-4300
http://campusministry.georgetown.edu/

Off-Campus Resources

National Suicide Prevention Hotline
1-800-273-TALK (8255)
http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

Georgetown Hospital Emergency Medicine
3800 Reservoir Road, NW
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 444-2119
http://www.georgetownuniversityhospital.org/body_dept_home.cfm?id=388

References