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Suicide Prevention

There is no single cause to suicide. It most often occurs when stressor exceed current coping abilities of someone suffering from a mental health condition. Conditions like depression, anxiety and substance problems, especially when unaddressed, increase risk for suicide. It is important to remember that most people who actively manage their mental health lead fulfilling lives.

Risk Factors and Warning Signs

Something to look out for when concerned that someone may be suicidal is a change in behavior or the start of new behaviors. The greatest concern is if the new/changed behavior is related to a painful event, loss or change.

Warning Signs:

Talk – if a person talks about: Behavior – things to look out for: Mood – one or more may be displayed:
Being a burden

Feeling trapped

Experiencing unbearable pain

Having no reason to live

Killing themselves

Increase in alcohol or drug use

Looking for a way to kill themselves, looking online for materials or means

Isolating from family and friends

Sleeping too much or too little

Telling people goodbye/giving away possessions

Withdrawing from activities

Acting recklessly



Loss of interest





Risk Factors

Health Factors Environmental Factors Historical Factors
Mental health conditions

Substance abuse disorders

Serious or chronic health condition and/or pain

Stressful life events

Prolonged stress factors

Access to lethal means

Exposure to another person’s suicide or to graphic/sensationalized accounts of suicide

Previous attempts

Family history of suicide attempts

Considerations in responding to someone you are concerned about:

  • Talk to the person. Express concern.
  • Don’t be afraid to address suicide directly. Ask if they ever thought about suicide.
  • Listen, show interest, offer support, and take it seriously.
  • Don’t be sworn to secrecy. Always consult with others and seek support.
  • Help the person find assistance. Follow up with the person.
  • Do not leave the person alone if the person is in immediate or imminent danger, Dial 911.


Marquette University Counseling Center provides individual short-term counseling to full-time MIAD students free of charge. Therapists provide both one-on-one counseling and group counseling. All services are confidential. The center is open from 8:00am – 4:30pm and is located at 1324 W. Wisconsin Ave. Room 204 of Holtusen Hall. Phone: 414-288-7172.

On campus students can speak with:

Jennifer Crandall, Associate Dean of Students, RL95

Rebecca Skupien, Student Accessibility Coordinator, RL100B

Marianne Di Ulio, Director of Residential Living and Student Engagement, RL45H

Tony Nowak, Dean of Students, RL45C


Milwaukee County Crisis Line: 24 hrs/day, 7 days a week. (414) 257-7222

General information on Local Mental Health Services: IMPACT 2-1-1. In Milwaukee, Waukesha, Kenosha, Racine, Ozaukee, Washington, Dodge, Jefferson and Walworth counties dial 2-1-1.

Center for Suicide Awareness: For emotional support and resources to help with any struggle before it becomes a crisis, text HOPELINE to 741741. This is a free service provided by the Center for Suicide Awareness.


National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Common Myths About Suicide:

  • “People who talk about suicide won’t really do it.

Not True, people who talk about suicide may be reaching out for help or support. Almost everyone who attempts or completes suicide has given some clue or warning.

  • “If a person is determined to kill themselves, nothing is going to stop them.”

Not True, suicidal people are often ambivalent about living or dying. Most suicidal people do not want death; they want the pain to stop. The impulse to end it all, while overpowering, does not last forever.

  • “People who die by suicide are people who were unwilling to seek help.”

Not True, studies of suicide victims have shown that more than half had sought medical help within six months of their deaths.

  • “Talking about suicide may give someone the idea.”

Not True, you don’t give a suicidal person morbid ideas by talking about suicide. Most people who are contemplating suicide do not know who to speak to – brining up the subject of suicide and discussing it openly is one of the most helpful things you can do.


  • Nearly half of all college students say they felt that things were hopeless such that they found it difficult to function in the past school year.
  • Depression affects 1 out of every 7 Americans. More Americans suffer from depression than coronary heart disease, cancer and HIV/AIDS.
  • One in ten college students has considered suicide.
  • Suicide is the second leading cause of death in college-age students.