Skip to main content
Dartmouth Cares: Medical Health Awareness, Crisis Intervention, and Suicide Prevention

Dartmouth Cares

Counseling & Human Development
Hinman Box 6143
7 Rope Ferry Road
Hanover, NH 03755
Phone: 603-646-9442
Fax: 603-646-9410
Home >

Dartmouth Cares - Family & Friends

As a friend or family member, you may be the first one to notice behavior and emotional changes that may indicate that a student is experiencing difficulty. You can play an important role in suicide prevention by becoming aware of signs that may indicate that your loved one is in distress before a crisis occurs and referring the student to mental health professionals.  

Recognizing these warning signs might help prevent a suicide attempt:

  • Statements indicating suicidal thinking
  • References indicating a desire to die
  • Depression or other mood changes
  • Withdrawal from friends/family
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Impulsiveness or recklessness
  • Anger and anxiety
  • Feeling trapped and hopeless
  • Suffering a major loss or life change
  • Access to self-destructive means

If you think that someone you know may be thinking about suicide:

  • Listen to the person and acknowledge his or her pain. 
  • Ask directly, "Are you thinking about killing yourself?". This does not increase the risk of a suicide occurring, in fact students are often relieved to have someone to talk to.
  • Help the person feel understood and let him or her know you care.
  • Avoid judging or inducing guilt.
  • Never agree to keep suicidal thoughts in confidence. It is important that a student with suicidal thoughts meet with a counseling professional so the student can receive the support they need.
  • Do not leave the person in active crisis alone.
  • Refer the individual to professional help. Call the Counseling & Human Development department at 603-646-9442 during office hours (M-F: 8:00am-4:30pm) or after hours, call the Dick's House Inpatient Department at 603-646-9440. You and the counselor on-call can make the appropriate arrangements for the student to be seen.
  • If you feel the student needs to be seen by a counselor right away and the student refuses, you can contact the Counselor-On-Call or Dean-On-Call at 603-646-3333 for consultation.

Last Updated: 9/19/14