U-M Counseling and Psychological Services

Being a member of the UM community provides a unique opportunity and responsibility to make a real difference in the lives of our students. As a quilt is made of many different strands and colors, our many different roles can also combine to form a strong support network for all students. It is through this support network that we can "change the story" for one individual AND on a campus-wide level.

If you are concerned a friend or loved one is thinking about suicide, there are ways to help.

  • If you realize someone may be suicidal; take them seriously, and be willing to listen.
  • Reach out! Asking someone if they are feeling suicidal does not increase risk.
  • Don't promise secrecy and don't worry about being disloyal.
  • Help the person find a knowledgeable mental health professional.
  • Know the Warning Signs of Suicide

How to Intervene:

If a friend or a loved one is expressing common warning signs for suicide, asking them about suicide in a non-judgemental way can help open the door for help. Here are some examples for how you can ask a friend or loved one if they are having thoughts of suicide:

  • “Are you having thoughts of taking your life?”
  • “I’ve noticed you are a little withdrawn lately, are you thinking about suicide?”
  • ​“Do you have a plan to take your life?”

If a friend or loved one is expressing a plan for suicide, do not keep this a secret. Getting this person help can save a life.

Tips in intervening:

  • Ask directly if your friend or loved one is thinking about suicide. Asking will not put the idea into their head.
  • If you are not comfortable asking about suicide, find someone who can ask.
  • Remain supportive and non-judgemental.
  • Offer to call for help if your friend or loved one is reluctant to seek help on their own. The first step in getting help is often the hardest.
  • Remove any available means for self harm from the person’s access such as guns or pills.
  • ​​Don't try to do everything yourself, consult and get others involved.