Call for Help

Suicide Resources for Parents

Parents and family members can play a significant role in supporting student mental health and well-being, both before and during a student’s college career by having open and productive conversations with their student. Conversations allow you and your student to plan for the unexpected and to know what to do if your student experiences emotional distress, develops a mental health condition, or if an existing condition worsens.

While some stress is normal and healthy, significant life changes and increases in stress levels can negatively impact mental health. It’s important to keep lines of communication open and watch for warning signs that indicate your student is struggling or experiencing a mental health concern. Anyone can experience thoughts of suicide and there is no typical way that a person having thoughts of suicide will present to those around them. Anytime that you are concerned for your student, this should be taken seriously.

Visit our Recognize, Respond, Refer page for information on how to recognize when a student is in need of support, respond to them offering initial support, and then refer them to additional resources.

It is important to remember that you are one link in your student’s chain of support—be a good link, but know your limits.  You may not resolve their concern, but you can work to get them to the next link in their chain of support.

If you have further questions about your concerns or want to talk with another person before taking action, please contact the Dean of Students Office at 608-263-5700 or call any number of suicide hotlines including the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) and the UHS 24/7 Mental Health Crisis Services (608-265-5600, Option 9). Links to more information for both of these resources can be found at the bottom of our main page.

Risk Levels, Signs, and Guidance on What to Do



  • A direct statement with immediate thoughts, plan, means, access, intent to harm self or others
  • Threatening statement(s) or behavior(s)

What to Do

  • Do not leave student alone
  • Remove any lethal means from situation
  • If during hours, walk student to UHS or call to speak with a UHS provider 265-5600, option 2
  • Contact University Police
  • Emergency: 911
  • Non-Emergency: 608-264-2677



  • Direct statement without immediate thoughts, plan, means, access, intent to harm self or others
  • Escalating emotions or panic
  • On-going mental health issues
  • Under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Psychosis without threatening statement(s) or behavior(s)

What do Do

  • Strongly encourage the student to seek help at UHS
  • Call to speak with a UHS provider together: 265-5600, option 2
  • If it is after hours, call the UHS Crisis Line: 265-5600, option 9
  • Offer campus and community resources



  • Mental health concerns about self or others without acute risk of suicide
  • Situational event concerning self or other contributing to stress

What do Do

  • Encourage the student to seek help at UHS
  • Call to speak with a UHS provider:
    265-5600, option 2
  • Offer campus and community resources