What can I do to help prevent suicide?

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September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, which is a time where we strive to raise awareness about suicide, as well as promote discussion about this often stigmatized topic. Our goal is to provide hope and meaningful resources to individuals, family and friends who may need to seek help. Below we’ve outlined some of the warning signs and actions you can take to help prevent suicide.


These warning signs may mean someone is at risk for suicide. Risk is greater if a behavior is new or has increased and if it seems related to a painful event loss, or change.

  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live.

  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain.

  • Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself.

  • Talking about being a burden to others.

  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs.

  • Withdrawing or feeling isolated.

  • Looking for a way to kill oneself, such as searching online or buying a gun.

  • Having access to self-destructive means.

  • Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly.

  • Sleeping too little or too much.

  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.

  • Displaying extreme mood swings.


There are actions you can take to help prevent suicide. 

What to say and do:

  • Take the warning signs seriously. Do not ignore the signs in hopes they will go away.

  • Reach out. Show your concern. Don’t worry about saying the wrong thing. Your genuine concern is what is important. 

  • Ask if the person is thinking about suicide. Be direct. Be persistent and sensitive to solicit an answer.

  • Convey hope to the person who is struggling. Hope is the best defense against suicide.

  • Listen and accept the person’s feelings calmly and without judgment. 

  • Do not act shocked or argue with the person.

  • Don’t be sworn to secrecy.

  • Know the resources at Clemson University and in our community. 

  • Offer to go with the person for help. 

  • Do not leave the person alone. Find someone else who can help, such as family, friends, a religious leader, the Counseling Center (CAPS), a resident advisor or campus security.

  • File a CARE Report to link the person to University services

Tigers Together offers advocacy training to help groups and individual members of the Clemson family to become Suicide Prevention advocates. 


For Emergency: Dial 911 

If you are concerned about immediate self-harm or harm to someone else, emergency services should be accessed. Call 911 or Clemson University Campus Police at 864-656-2222.

Clemson University Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)
  • 864-656-2451: During business hours
  • 864-656-2222: After-hours psychological emergency (CUPD – Ask for CAPS counselor on call)
  • clemson.edu/caps
Mental Health America Greenville Crisis Line
National Suicide Prevention LifeLine
Crisis Text Line


Learn more: clemson.edu/suicideprevention