In a large, fragmented community like NYU, it's vital to reach out to others, particularly those who are isolated or engaged in self-destructive activities. Campus mental health is the responsibility of all of us.
Here are some common signs that someone may be having emotional troubles or even feeling suicidal:
- References to death or suicide in conversation, jokes, or writings
- Preoccupation with death and dying
- Withdrawal from friends and social activities
- Loss of interest in schoolwork, work, and other activities
- Abrupt changes in behavior, mood or appearance
- Pursuit of dangerous activities
- References to previous suicide attempts
- Drug or alcohol problems
- Signs of depression: crying, hopelessness, sleeping or eating problems, low energy, low self-esteem, excessive guilt
Here are ways to be helpful when someone shows some of these signs:
- Take the signs seriously.
- Ask to talk to the person.
- Say you are concerned. Point out the signs you've noticed.
- Be willing to listen. Don't judge or give lots of advice or try to cheer up the person.
- If it's unclear that the person is suicidal, ask, "Have things gotten so bad that you're actually thinking of hurting yourself?" Asking about suicide is a sign of caring.
- Don't be sworn to secrecy. Say that you need to talk with someone to make sure they are safe.
- If the person is acutely suicidal, they may do something right away. Do not leave them alone.
- Have someone else promptly call 911 and then call NYU Public Safety (212-998-2222).
- If the situation is not an immediate emergency, refer the person to Counseling and Wellness Services (212-998-4780) or the Wellness Exchange (212-443-9999). Tell the person you will make the call and explain the situation.
- If you have any questions about someone in trouble, please call Counseling and Wellness Services at 212-998-4780 or the Wellness Exchange at 212-443-9999.
- For after hours emergencies, call the Wellness Exchange at 212-443-9999 or NYU Public Safety at 212-998-2222.