Counseling & Psychological Services

Helping Others
Suicide Prevention

If you believe someone is at immediate risk of harm to themselves or another, CALL the IUPUI Police at (317) 274-7911.

If you suspect someone may be thinking about killing him/her self:

  • Talk about suicide openly and directly. Asking the question will NOT give someone the idea.
  • In a direct and calm manner, ask about THOUGHTS, PLAN, INTENTION:
    • Have you been thinking about killing yourself?
    • Have you ever thought about acting on these feelings/thoughts?
    • Are there times you are afraid you will act on these thoughts/feelings?
    • Do you have a plan for how you would harm or kill yourself?
    • Have you ever tried to act on feelings like this in the past?
    • When would you act on these thoughts/feelings? What would stop you?

Try to:

  • Sound calm, understanding, confident, and caring.
  • Give them a chance to talk.
  • Provide the person with a sense of hope that things can improve.
  • Emphasize the temporary nature of the problem and permanent nature of suicide.
  • KNOW THE AVAILABLE RESOURCES and offer to help the person connect with these resources.
  • Take charge and seek assistance.

It is not helpful to:

  • Sound shocked by anything the person tells you.
  • Ignore vague comments such as "The world would be better off without me."
  • Ask "You're not thinking about killing yourself are you??!"
  • Stress the shock and embarrassment that the suicide would be to the person's family.
  • Engage in a philosophical debate on the moral aspects of suicide.

If you believe someone is at immediate risk of harm to themselves or another, CALL the IUPUI Police at (317) 274-7911.

If the individual is not at immediate risk, but expresses thoughts of harming themselves or another:

  • Encourage the person to come to CAPS. Click here for additional information on how to refer.
  • Consider contacting a 24-hour crisis phone line
    • Local Crisis & Suicide Hotline  (317) 251-7575
    • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
    • National Hopeline Network 1-800-422-HOPE (4673)

If the individual is not at immediate risk and does not agree to seek help, but you remain concerned about their safety: