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Suicide awareness and prevention

This page outlines support for students & staff, the impact suicide can have on us, what the University is doing to support prevention and how we can all help.

Suicide is a distressing and complex issue and can be difficult to talk about. There are lots of resources and advice available for students and staff to help us cope, respond, and have those difficult conversations.

Urgent wellbeing support

If you are having suicidal thoughts and do not feel able to keep yourself safe then call Security on 01225 383999, if you are not on campus call 111 or go to the nearest Accident & Emergency.

If you have seriously harmed yourself – for example, by taking a drug overdose – or you feel that you may be about to harm yourself, call 999 for an ambulance or go straight to A&E. Or ask someone else to call 999 or take you to A&E.

External sources of support are also available 24/7, including the Samaritans, who can be contacted for free from mobiles and landlines on 116 123.

If you need to talk to somebody urgently about your, or a colleague’s, friend's, or student's wellbeing call the support helplines which are open 24 hours a day, every day: Urgent or emergency wellbeing support.

Looking after our mental health

Looking after your mental health and wellbeing is a long-term priority and process, and we should encourage others around us to do the same.

Students can sign up for various free programmes to develop mental fitness:

Staff members are encouraged to develop mental fitness via:

How you can help others

We encourage everyone in our community to do the Zero Suicide Alliance Training. This training lasts less than 30 minutes, and at times may be uncomfortable, but once completed we hope you will have a better understanding of suicide, why it happens and what you can do to help prevent it. This training also works towards the wider aim of breaking down the stigma surrounding suicide by encouraging open conversations about it.

If there has been an attempted or suspected suicide, talking with other students and staff about suicide is important at this time; it can help everyone cope with the trauma and grief. Talking to others and listening to their concerns can help highlight those who are having difficulty coping.

You may not know exactly what to say or do – most people don’t. You don’t need to have ready answers or solutions. Being there for others and listening to them is often enough. If you are struggling, there is no shame in asking for help when you feel like coping on your own is too difficult.

Samaritans have a list of other sources of support you may find useful.

The impact on our community

An attempted or suspected suicide can be traumatic and distressing, whether or not you knew the person very well. For a community, it can throw up all kinds of feelings. Everyone acts or reacts in their own way. It’s important to know that there is no right or wrong way of feeling.

Step by Step provides practical support and guidance to help university communities prepare for, and recover from, a suspected or attempted suicide. Students and staff can find the advice and guidance here.

The Office for Students has also provided advice, guidance, and resources for universities.

Suicide Prevention Working Group (SPWG)

The SPWG was established in 2020, chaired by the Vice-President (Student Experience). Membership of the group includes representation and specialist advice from HR, Student Services, the SU, academic colleagues from the Departments of Health & Psychology, as well as external partners from BaNES Public Health Department.

The group undertook a review of suicide prevention at the University for students and staff in line with the UUK/Papyrus Suicide Safer Universities guidance. As a result of this some changes have been implemented and work is ongoing to further develop suicide prevention provision.

The work of the SPWG will be integrated into the University’s existing structures alongside the ongoing commitment of the University to achieve the Student Minds Mental Health Charter. The SPWG will convene every six months to monitor progress at Bath and keep track of best practice.

Enquiries

If you have any enquiries students should contact Student Services; and staff, Employee Wellbeing.