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Suicide Prevention Month: Learn about resources for students, faculty and staff
suicide prevention month

Suicide Prevention Awareness Month is an opportunity to learn to recognize warning signs and how to get help if you or someone you know is in distress.

Emory University and Emory Healthcare offer a variety of services for students, staff, faculty and their family members facing emotional suffering due to difficult times. National hotlines can also be an important resource for immediate support.

Here are the facts, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • Nearly 46,000 deaths occurred due to suicide in 2020 — that’s 1 death every 11 minutes.
  • An estimated 12.2 million adults seriously thought about suicide in 2020.
  • In 2020, suicide rates were 30% higher than in 2000.  

Suicide affects people of all ages and ethnicities. Suicide was the second leading cause of death for people ages 10-14 and 25-34. In 2020, suicide was among the top nine leading causes of death for people ages 10-64. Groups with the highest rates of suicide were non-Hispanic white populations and non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Native populations.

Suicide affects everyone, not just the person who needs help. Suicide and suicide attempts affect the health and well-being of friends, loved ones, co-workers and the community.

Additionally, the emotional, physical and economic impacts reverberate throughout the community.

Risk factors and ways to help

Various factors can place an individual at risk for suicide. Risk factors exist at the individual, relationship, community and societal levels. Examples of risk factors include a previous suicide attempt, history of depression or mental health problems, high conflict or violent relationships, lack of access to health care, historical trauma and stigma associated with help-seeking and mental illness.  

“It’s natural to be afraid to bring up issues around depression or suicidality given the stigma that still surrounds mental health problems,” says mental health expert Nadine Kaslow, a professor in the Emory University School of Medicine and chief psychologist at Grady Health System.

“But what we do know is that people who are feeling depressed or feeling suicidal often feel so isolated, so alone, and like the thoughts are all inside their head,” Kaslow says. “Often what they need more than anything is somebody to reach out, to care, to be with them and to help them.” 

According to the CDC and National Institute on Mental Health (NIMH), some notable warning signs that someone may be at immediate risk for attempting suicide include:

  • Talking or posting about wanting to die or wanting to kill themselves
  • Expressing hopelessness
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Being isolated
  • Increased anxiety
  • Increased substance use
  • Talking about feeling trapped or feeling that there are no solutions

Alternatively, there are ways that we all can help guard against suicide, including:

  • Having effective coping and problem-solving skills
  • Giving or seeking support from partners, friends and family
  • roviding availability of consistent and high quality physical and behavioral health care
  • Reducing access to lethal means of suicide among people at risk 

Suicide is preventable and everyone has a role to play to save lives and create healthy and strong individuals, families and communities.

If you or someone you know may need help, please consider the following community resources:

  • Suicide and Crisis Lifeline: Call or text 988. It is confidential, free and available 24/7. Chat at Visit the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline for more information at
  • Veterans Crisis Line: Call 988 then press 1 or text 838255 to reach responders with the Department of Veterans Affairs.
  • Georgia Crisis and Access Line: Call 1-800-715-4225 for routine or crisis services that are available 24/7. Learn more.
  • Crisis Text Line: Text HELLO to 741741 for free, confidential help that is available 24/7.
  • Social media: The NIMH notes that you can also contact social media outlets directly if you are concerned about a friend’s social media updates.

Emory support resources

Emory provides a variety of resources to help students, faculty and staff during difficult times. 

“Many people struggling with suicidal thoughts and feelings sometimes believe that they cannot seek help in the workplace because it may place their job in jeopardy,” says Mellonie Hayes Mullins, a licensed marriage and family therapist and education coordinator for Emory University's Faculty Staff Assistance Program (FSAP).

“FSAP is here to provide a safe confidential space, give support and craft a plan that helps employees find their way out of that dark place, and enhance functioning in all areas of their lives," she says. "The emotional well-being of our faculty and staff is so important to maintaining a caring community at Emory."

Emory’s Counseling and Psychological Services — which provides free, confidential counseling for undergraduate, graduate and professional students — recently created an eight-minute suicide prevention video to help faculty, staff and fellow students recognize and support those who may need help.

Watch “When Someone Needs Your Help: Preventing Suicide”: 

“We are continuing the critical work of making Emory a place where students know they can truly bring their whole selves. That’s a fundamental component to community well-being,” says James D. Raper, Campus Life’s associate vice president for health, well-being, access and prevention. “This also means that we must be able to honor and support one another's mental health — when it’s up and when it’s down.”

Learn about campus resources:

Student resources:

  • Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) provides individual, group and couples counseling; stress management classes; and community outreach to provide support for students on the Atlanta and Oxford campuses and assist them in negotiating emotional and interpersonal difficulties. CAPS on-call counselors are available Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Atlanta campus: 404-727-7450. Oxford campus: 770-784-8394.
  • TimelyCare is a 24-hours a day, 7 days a week (24/7) virtual care service available from nearly anywhere for all enrolled Emory students. Sign up using your Emory email address. Once there, you may schedule a session with a health care provider. TalkNow, a part of TimelyCare, is a free on-demand 24/7 resource for immediate access to a mental health professional.
  • Student Case Management and Intervention Services (SCMIS) provides support for basic needs, follow up care, and other resources. If you are concerned about a student (non-urgent), please submit a Student of Concern form and SCMIS will follow up with the student.
  • Student Intervention Services (SIS) assists students in times of crises, not only as an invaluable resource during emergencies, but also as a source of impartial, judgment-free counsel for students seeking guidance and assistance through life’s difficult times. 404-430-1120.
  • Student Health Services (SHS) offers free psychiatric services for all enrolled Emory students. Services include diagnostic psychiatric evaluations, medication evaluations, long-term management of psychiatric medications and community referrals. For guidance for after-hours emergencies, visit the SHS Emergency Care / After Hours web page. Atlanta campus: 404-727-7551. Oxford campus: 770-784-8376.
  • Office of Spiritual and Religious Life offers worship, prayer, meditation, and support through spiritual communities, educational programs, confidential pastoral care, and connections with service and social justice efforts. We also plan vigils and other rituals with students, faculty and staff. Atlanta campus websiteOxford campus website

Faculty and staff resources:

  • Faculty Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) provides free and confidential support for employees and benefits-eligible Emory University employees and family members. Services include individual, couples and family counseling, coaching and consultation, and individual or team crisis support. Daytime emergency appointments and on-call after-hours support are available. Visit the emergency services webpage or call 404-727-9355 (WELL). You can also utilize the FSAP online self-assessments to see how you are doing or scheduled a virtual well-being check-in with a licensed mental health professional.
  • Office of Spiritual and Religious Life offers worship, prayer, meditation and support through spiritual communities, educational programs, confidential pastoral care and connections with service and social justice efforts. We also plan vigils and other rituals with students, faculty and staff. Atlanta campus websiteOxford campus website.
  • BHS: Emory Healthcare has partnered with to provide EHC employees and your household members with confidential, in-the-moment support to help with personal or professional problems that may interfere with work or family responsibilities. This program is free and available at no cost to you. Services are available 24-hours a day, 7-days a week. Call/text 1-800-327-2251 or visit the MyBHS portal (username: EHC).
  • EmBRACE Peer Support: Emory’s Building Resilience and Compassion Enculturation (emBRACE) Peer Support Program is an interprofessional, systems approach to decrease the burdens of secondary trauma and moral distress experienced by Emory Healthcare and Woodruff Health Sciences Center employees. Trained peer supporters include physicians, nurses, advanced practice providers, chaplains, social workers and other essential staff members. To be partnered with a Peer Supporter, please email
  • Spiritual Health: Emory Spiritual Health embraces the traditional religious care provided by professional health care chaplains, but also expands to include spiritual and cultural qualities associated with whole person health. Team members come alongside patients, family members and Emory Healthcare staff who are coping with health and work-related distress. Never hesitate to reach out to a “Blue Coat” from Emory Spiritual Health. Staff support contact information is available here.
  • Emory Brain Health Center: The Emory Brain Health Center provides patient-centered care for a full range of psychiatric and mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and more. In addition to the Emory Brain Health Center’s extensive adult inpatient psychiatry program, Emory Clinic Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences also offers a wide range of outpatient psychiatry services and resources. For more information or to make an appointment, please call 404-404-778-7777 or 800-753-6679.

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