U-M Counseling and Psychological Services

  • What if……. the number of deaths by suicide was zero each year?
  • How can we address and accomplish a culture of caring for students in any level of psychological distress?
  • How can we promote and give tools to enact 2 central themes of “hope” and “resiliency”?

These questions have driven CAPS to do something more around suicide prevention for our campus.  Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) continues to lead efforts to increase student suicide awareness and education through the do something: Stop Student Suicide initiative and additional efforts including:

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students.  One suicide is too many. 

At UM CAPS, 35% of students have thought about or considered suicide.  Find other facts and statistcs.  Students also report the following related experiences:

  • Perceived or actual lack of support
  • Academic concerns that may be experienced as failure
  • Lacking coping skills and feelings of Hopelessness
  • Identity concerns
  • Find Additional Warning Signs 

Our plan of action aims to change campus culture, to increase resiliency and hope, and to create an environment that is actively and visibly engaged in stopping student suicide.

Facts and Statistics

Thoughts of suicide may occur when stressors exceed the ability to effectively cope, particularly for one who may be struggling with mental health concerns. Depression is the most common mental health concern associated with suicide. It is believed that major life transitions (such as leaving home and family and peer supports to attend college — an unfamiliar environment with higher academic standards) may intensify present psychological distress or trigger new mental distress.  However, other concerns including anxiety, moodiness, and substance abuse can also be related.


Warning Signs

Is Suicide a Possibility?

While suicide can be difficult to predict, warning signs do exist. None of the following signs alone necessarily indicate suicidal potential, but the presence of several indicators, particularly if they indicate a change from the person’s usual mood and style of coping, deserve close attention.


How Can You Help?

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.

Here are a few ways you can help:


New Suicide Prevention Videos

Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) continues to lead efforts to increase student suicide awareness and education through the do something: Stop Student Suicide initiative.

In order to reduce the silence and the mystery that surrounds suicide, we offer these three videos, featuring knowledgeable voices, focused on what contributes to thoughts of suicide among our UM students and more importantly, how you can respond.


Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR): A CAPS Suicide Prevention Training

Over the years, the greater U of M community has requested CAPS workshops and presentations focused on helping students who may feel suicidal or in distress. CAPS has joined 160 colleges and universities in providing QPR to their campus. Essentially, QPR is a behavioral intervention that focuses on getting a distressed student/individual referred for professional help. Since QPR’s launch in November of 2006, thousands (students, faculty and staff) have gone through the training from many different units on campus.


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