- Strengthen practices and policies relating to suicide prevention and mental health services
- Reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issues by providing education to the UW-Madison community
- Promote help-seeking behaviors among our students
Having suicidal thoughts?
As a Badger, you’re a part of a talented and supportive community. We understand the complexities of being a student and the ways life can cause stress, anxiety and depression. Sometimes it’s hard to escape stressors, and without help, they can lead to depression or even suicidal thoughts. It’s important to remember that you’re not alone on this campus. Help is available.
Get help for yourself
If you are having suicidal thoughts, please reach out for help. You are very important to us, and we want to help you get through this dark time and start feeling like yourself again. Asking for help is a sign of strength, not a sign of weakness. Never hesitate to call the UHS 24-hour crisis line at 608-265-5600 (option 9). If your situation is immediately life threatening, please call 911 or get yourself to the nearest emergency room. If you need support, ask a friend to come with you.
Every student is different, and that’s why when you come to UHS for counseling, you will start with an Access Consultation to determine the appropriate services to fit your needs. Counseling may be an effective treatment for some, while others may benefit from the additional use of medication. If you already have a diagnosed mental illness, you may want to work with the McBurney Disability Resource Center to facilitate academic accommodations. The Dean of Students Office is also available to assist students with concerns and stressors.
Take care of your mental health
Take care of your body. Taking care of your physical health can improve your mental health.
- Eat nutritious meals
- Avoid cigarettes. UHS offers free individual counseling for students who would like to quit.
- Drink plenty of water
- Exercise. Exercise can help decrease depression and anxiety and improve moods. Recreational Sports offers programming for students looking to get active on campus.
- Get enough sleep. Lack of sleep contributes to a high rate of depression in college students.
Surround yourself with good people. People with strong family or social connections are generally healthier than those who lack a support network. Make plans with supportive family members and friends, or seek out activities to meet new people, such as a club, class, or support group.
Give yourself. Volunteer time and energy to help someone else. You'll feel good about doing something tangible to help someone in need — and it's a great way to meet new people.
Learn how to deal with stress. Stress is a natural part of life. UHS offers stress management services and relaxation exercises.
Quiet your mind. Try meditating, mindfulness, and/or prayer. Check out UHS wellness services or connect to religious organizations on campus.
Set realistic goals. Decide what you want to achieve academically, professionally, and personally, and write down the steps you need to realize your goals. For help reaching your academic goals, check out the study skills resources from GUTS.
Break up the monotony. Routines make us more efficient and enhance feelings of security and safety, but a change of pace can perk up a tedious schedule. Browse the events calendar for new experiences.
Avoid alcohol and other drugs. Keep alcohol use to a minimum and avoid other drugs. Alcohol and other drugs can be used to "self-medicate," but in reality, they only aggravate problems.
Get help when you need it. Seeking help is a sign of strength — not a weakness. And it is important to remember that treatment is effective. There are campus and community mental health resources. UHS Mental Health Crisis Services are available 24-hours a day by calling 608-265-5600 (option 9).
Adapted from the National Mental Health Association/National Council for Community Behavioral
Healthcare and the University of Michigan University Health Services Ten Things
Lost someone to suicide?
Help a student
I'm faculty, staff, or TA
While sometimes difficult to do, it is important that you realize the limits of your own responsibility when assisting distressed students. If you are involved in an intervention with a student, it does not mean you must immediately resolve the student’s difficulties or that you are responsible for the student’s emotional well-bei
Responding to distressed students can be emotionally challenging. It is important to obtain support for yourself from colleagues, partners, friends, or consultation with the Employee Assistance Office or contact UWell.
I'm a parent
I'm a friend
The responsibility to help students at risk is with all of us. Members of the university community have greater one-on-one contact with students and are instrumental in identifying students who need assistance and encouraging them to seek help. UHS encourages all members of the UW-Madison community to become familiar with the
- Recognize warning signs
- Respond to a student in need
- Refer to resources
Info & resources
Suicide Prevention Council
Suicide Prevention Council
The UW-Madison Suicide Prevention Council advises on suicide prevention efforts within UHS and offers a multidisciplinary perspective for campus, community, and shared governance representatives to work collaboratively toward suicide prevention. For more information or if you are interested in serving on the council, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
UHS Suicide Prevention can work with campus and community organizations interested in hosting educational events, planning awareness campaigns, or promoting suicide prevention. Contact email@example.com.
Campus & community resources
(608)-265-5600 – option 9 for 24-hour crisis hotline
(608)-265-5600 – option 2 for counseling
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Ayuda en Español: 888-628-9454
Veterans Suicide Prevention Lifeline
(800)-273-8255 (TALK) – select 1
Text message: 838255
The Trevor Project – LGBTQ Suicide Prevention
Journey Mental Health Center – Madison
(608)-280-2600 – 24-hour crisis services
(608)-280-2700 – General reception
UHS offers free mental health services, as well as 24-hour crisis services.
McBurney Disability Resource Center delivers services and classroom accommodations to students with disabilities and facilitates and advocates for reasonable accommodations.
Dean of Students Office works directly with students to address concerns and stressors and connects them to appropriate campus resources.
UW Police Department The UW-Madison Police Department is a full-service law enforcement agency that safeguards and serves the campus community.
LGBT Campus Center provides services and resources necessary to meet the social, emotional, academic and cultural needs of LGBTQ students.
International Students Services provides information and programs to international students about the campus and community. It also offers support and assistance concerning visas and related immigration issues.
Multicultural Student Center strengthens and sustains an inclusive campus where all students, particularly students of color and other historically underserved students, are engaged and can realize an authentic Wisconsin Experience.
Veteran Services and Military Assistance serves as a resource for all military affiliated students, including veterans, active duty, reservists, National Guard personnel, ROTC members, and military dependents.
Journey Mental Health Center is a nonprofit agency that provides comprehensive mental health and substance abuse services.
William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital provides health care for veterans and offers consultation, evaluation, and treatment for a variety of issues that can impact emotional well-being.
We're here to help you
UHS Counseling Services
333 East Campus Mall, 7th floor
608-265-5600, option 2
24/7 Mental Health Crisis Line
608-265-5600 (option 9)
UW-Madison’s suicide prevention efforts are guided by The Campus Program framework, developed by the Jed and Clinton Health Matters Campus Program and known to help promote mental health, prevent suicide, and limit substance use.