We welcome the launch of 'Suicide Safer Universities', Universities UK and Papyrus’ guidance for universities on preventing student suicides focused on improving understanding, prevention and responses to the tragic circumstances of suicide. This guide, which will be sent to all university leaders, is a helpful step to ensure practice is shared across the sector.
At Student Minds, we also call for further research and evidence in this area and will be supporting the dissemination of a number of studies in the coming years. There have been recent debates about degree to which a parent, guardian, or other trusted adult should be informed about a student in crisis, at risk, having disclosed a mental health difficulty or using services. We would recommend that responses to this debate are at all times both informed by available evidence and co-produced with students. Across universities and the NHS we must invest in ensuring the early identification and treatment of mental health disorders, as too many people still lose their lives when waiting for treatment. We also recognise that the media has a big role to play to ensure that all reporting is safe and responsible and adheres to Samaritans guidelines in order to not create harm for others.
We understand that it's not easy for any students, family members or members of the university community to read about these very difficult issues and we encourage anyone affected to look after yourself and reach out to others if required (please see links provided below).
Are you looking for support?
Research into student mental health suggests that broad support networks can help recovery from, and management of, mental health difficulties. Your wider support network might include friends and family, your GP, University counselling / wellbeing services.
Are you feeling actively suicidal?
If you are feeling like you want to die, please consider that many people who have attempted or come close to suicide look back with gratitude that they were not successful in acting on their intentions.
If you are feeling actively suicidal now: