Student Health And Counseling Services

Topic - Suicide Facts & Prevention

If you are in crisis right now please call 911 or click onthis sentence for more resources.


Any talk of suicide by a friend or loved one should be taken seriously and help should be sought immediately. Depression and thoughts of suicide can impact a person's life in many different ways. Not everyone experiences depression and suicidal tendencies in the same way.

Depression and suicide have many common warning signs including

  • Sadness or anxiety
  • Feeling of guilt, helplessness or hopelessness
  • Trouble eating or sleeping
  • Withdrawing from friends and/or social activities
  • Loss of interest in hobbies, work, school, etc.
  • Increased use of alcohol or drugs
  • Anger
  • Excessive irritability
  • Excessive impulsivity

Specific signs of potential suicide include

  • Talking openly about committing suicide
  • Talking indirectly about "wanting out" or "ending it all"
  • Taking unnecessary or life-threatening risks
  • Giving away personal possessions
  • Depression alone or in combination with aggressive behavior, substance abuse and/or anxiety is found in over half of all suicides.

Suicide can be also be triggered by a number of things including

  • Stressful events, such as a failed exam or failure to get a job
  • Crises in significant social or family relationships
  • Interpersonal losses
  • Changes in body chemistry
  • High levels of anger or anxiety

How to help a friend

If you notice any of the above warning signs in a friend or loved one, you have reason to be concerned. There are ways that you can be helpful to a friend or loved one who is at risk.

  • Be honest and express your concerns. For example, "You seemed really down lately. Is something bothering you?"
  • Ask directly about thoughts of suicide. For example, "Have you thought of hurting yourself?" If suicidal thoughts are expressed, it is important to contact Counseling Services (715-425-3884), University Police (715-425-3133), Vibrant Health Family Clinics in River Falls (formerly River Falls Medical Clinic): (715-425-6701) or 911
  • 24 hour Suicide Hotline:  1-800-273-TALK (8255)  or
  • Listen and offer emotional support, understanding and patience.
  • Convey the message that depression is real, common, and treatable.
  • Offer to accompany your friend to see a counselor.

View Suicide Facts & Prevention Links

Northwest Connections Crisis Line: 888-552-6642

National Mental Health Association:  1-800-273-TALK (8255)

National Institute of Mental Health:  1-800-273-TALK (8255)

American Foundation of Suicide Prevention: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

American Association of Suicidology:  1-800-273-TALK (8255)


Page updated Summer 2017 by Mark Huttemier, MA, LPC - Personal Counselor in Student Health and Counseling at University of Wisconsin – River Falls



Contact Us

Student Health and Counseling Services
Student Health Services: 715-425-3293
Counseling Services: 715-425-3884
M-F, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
211 Hagestad Hall