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What to do if a student tells you that they may be suicidal (information for friends and family)

This page contains information on what you can do to support a UCL student experiencing suicidal thoughts if you are a family member or a friend from outside UCL.

Crisis support 

If someone is at immediate risk of harming themselves (for example, if they've made a plan and are worried that they may act on it soon), then this is a crisis and the person should go directly to the Accident & Emergency (A&E) department of the local hospital to get urgent help.

UCL Student Support and Wellbeing (including Student Psychological and Counselling Services) are not able to provide any kind of emergency or crisis support. 

UCLH has the nearest A&E department to UCL’s main campus - this A&E department has a dedicated mental health unit.

If you feel comfortable doing so, you can accompany the student to A&E yourself, or you can call 999 to request an ambulance for them.

Find your nearest A&E department.

Crisis support and coronavirus (COVID-19)

Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, there is currently high demand on the NHS. This includes Accident & Emergency (A&E) departments in hospitals.

If you're experiencing a mental health crisis and are in immediate risk of seriously harming yourself, it is best to call 999 in the first instance for urgent help and advice before visiting A&E. An ambulance may be called for you if appropriate.

How you can help 

It can be very distressing to learn that your child or a close relation or friend may be feeling suicidal. It is important to remember that this is common and one in four young people experience thoughts of suicide. These thoughts can be triggered by a number of different experiences, such as moving to a new place, new friends, and worries about study and/or employment.

It is important to be there for them and to encourage them to access professional support as soon as possible. 

View an outline of key support services available to students within UCL.

View an outline of key support services available to students externally.

We all can help save lives - suicide prevention training

The Suicide: Let's Talk online training course from Zero Suicide Alliance explains how to have a conversation about a suicide. Everyone can benefit from this awareness course, which takes about 20 minutes to complete.

Complete the training today. 

Student of Concern Form

You can contact UCL's Student Support and Wellbeing (SSW) services by completing a Student of Concern Form. SSW will reach out to the student and offer the support. We ordinarily rely on the student choosing to engage with support.

Find out more about the Student of Concern process and complete the form

Look after yourself

It is important to remember that if you are concerned about someone, you do not have to deal with this alone. Get others involved where you can and seek expert help if appropriate. You may find it helpful to seek professional advice to discuss how the issues have affected you,

Find out more about how to take care of yourself.