Suicide is a difficult, yet important topic to discuss with students, faculty and staff on your campus. It's going to take a comprehensive approach to reduce the issue of mental health on campus and the stigma surrounding it.
To learn 6 effective tips to help with this approach and statistics about student suicide, click here.
One idea to spread mental health awareness and reduce the stigma of student suicide on your campus is to participate in the National Suicide Prevention Month's #BeThe1To campaign.
#BeThe1To 5 Action Step Plan
Often faculty and staff on campus may be concerned about a student, but are not sure how to handle the situation - and the last thing they want to do is to progress the situation even farther along. A student worrying about a fellow student can also be a challenging situation.
It's important that college and universities train faculty, staff and students on the warning signs of mental health decline and how to communicate with someone who may be suffering from it.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline shares the 5 Step Action Plan through their #BeThe1To campaign:
- Ask - Communication can help pass the message that you're open to speaking about suicide in a non-judgmental and supportive way. Effective dialogue is a crucial and important step to help everyone involved understand what next steps need to be taken.
- Keep Them Safe - It's important to find out information to establish safety in the situation for both yourself and the person you're concerned about. Make sure to ask the individual about their actions leading up to this and any future plans.
- Be There - Limiting isolation for an individual experiencing suicidal thoughts is life-changing. Make sure to be present in the individual's life whether that means physically present or speaking with the individual over the phone. If you can't be with him or her, brainstorm with the individual who would be good to reach out to.
- Help Them Connect - Connect the individual with community resources and support as well as putting together a safety plan if suicidal thoughts begin to become significant or severe.
- Follow Up - Make sure to follow up with the individual. This is important. Check into make sure if there is anything else you can help him or her with and can reduce the risk of suicide.
It's important throughout this process to never promise the individual to keep their thoughts of suicide a secret. At any time, if the issue progresses to where safety is in question - you may need to call authorities. To learn the 5 Step Action Plan in detail, click here.
How to Celebrate #BeThe1To
The National Suicide Prevention Line invites everyone to share messages about how they can #BeThe1To by using the hashtag on your social media channels. Here are some examples of how you can #BeThe1To:
- Know the Warning Signs
- Make a Safety Plan
- Know the Risk Factors
- Know the Evidence
- Report on Suicide Safely
- Stay Connected
If you’d like to learn more about the #BeThe1To movement and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, check out its resources here.
Make sure to check out our 6 effective tips here to put together a comprehensive approach to fighting mental health decline and student suicide on your campus!