These are some of the reasons why people consider suicide:

  • You may want relief from painful circumstances that you feel helpless to change
  • You may feel you have to do something huge in order to be taken seriously
  • You may feel no hope that things will change, you will always feel bad, and that nobody will ever understand
  • You may want desperately to control the loss of a relationship
  • You may not recognize any options or that this crisis will end in time

Your situation may be that you have:

  • Lost a significant relationship, confused and scared about how you will carry on
  • Been rejected by someone you really want to be in your life
  • Had a real blow to your self-esteem
  • Been telling yourself that you're bad and want to punish yourself
  • Strong reactions to change in your family, in where you live, in status
  • Lost a friend or family member through illness, accident, or suicide
  • Feelings of worthlessness, alienation, loneliness, homesickness, anger
  • Confusing thoughts which interfere with life, with sleep, with school

Suicidal thoughts are not uncommon among college students. You may be:

  • Tall or short, attractive or plain, an easy-study student or a study slave, a leader or a loner, a male or a female, loud or quiet, aggressive or compliant, popular or unpopular
  • Lost inside yourself right now; uninvolved with others, feel that life has lost all meaning
  • Moody, grouchy, like you're on an emotional roller coaster

Twelve things that YOU can remember and do that will help

  1. Suicidal thoughts can be useful signals that you want your life to be different and rid of pain, not that you want to be dead
  2. Contact one of the crisis resource numbers listed at the bottom of this page. Talking about it is the first step towards [re]gaining control
  3. Be with other people whom you trust and appreciate; avoid "downer" people
  4. Reach out to the safest person you can find--an RD, RA, instructor, brother, sister, mother, father, minister, old friend...someone. Let the person know how you're feeling and that you need to talk
  5. Try to get quality sleep--sleep affects mood more than most people realize. If you're having trouble sleeping, cut out coffee, soft drinks with caffeine, tea. Try a warm shower/bath before going to bed. If noise bothers you, get soft ear plugs from a pharmacist; do deep muscle relaxation or other calming technique
  6. Avoid dangerous situations. (Alchohol is particularly ill-advised because it is a depressant in the long run, and compromises self-control and judgment. Mixing alcohol and pills can permanently damage your brain, liver, nervous system)
  7. Think of a time when you felt good about you; a success; a time you helped someone else; how you've been down before and gotten up again. Ask yourself: what is the difference; what part of me have I lost touch with that I need to reconnect to?
  8. Give yourself comfort--warm baths/showers, a good book, music with positive associations, a favorite hobby...Say to yourself, "I deserve this." Likewise try to accept comfort and support from others as readily as you would give it
  9. Start writing down your thoughts and feelings in a private journal. Be sure to include what you want to change, move towards
  10. List of 5 things that you can do when you're feeling desperate. Write them on a note card and put it in an easily remembered/accessible place
  11. Try to solve problems and "take care of business" one day at a time so that your worries don't mount up any higher than they are now. This will also give you a feeling that you are more in control of your life, and moving in a better direction
  12. Write this note (or your personal variation of) & keep it with you:
    My suicidal crisis is temporary.
    This pain can be survived.
    Help is available.
    I am not alone.
    I will get better.

Campus and Local Resource Phone Numbers

  • Counseling & Consultation Services, Northern Michigan University (top floor of Hedgcock) -- 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Monday - Friday: 227-2980
  • Residence Hall Directors and Advisors
  • Public Safety and Police Services - 227-2151
  • Pathways (Community Mental Health) - 24 hour crisis #: 225-1181

Suicide Prevention Resource Center
Jed Foundation--University Students