Concern about the possibility of suicide is understandable on any college campus. We know that suicide is the second highest cause of death (following accidents) nationally for people in the college-age group. To continue the work of making UW Tacoma as safe an environment as possible, we need for suicide prevention to be everyone's responsibility. None of us can see and hear all that goes on around us, so we all have to be alert to signs of distress in others.
Suicide Prevention at UW Tacoma
No institution can guarantee students will never attempt or complete suicide and no single prevention effort can best serve all students. At the UW Tacoma we implement many different strategies contributing to our overall suicide prevention program. The following are steps based on current research and best practice approaches:
Psychological & Wellness Services are advertised to all incoming students via a brochure given to them as part of orientation. Brochure
Trained mental health professionals in Psychological & Wellness Services (253-692-4522) are available at no additional charge to all students enrolled at UW Tacoma.
Advanced training and supervision: Doctoral Psychology interns at PAWS receive specific advanced training and supervision in suicide assessment, intervention and documentation.
Referral to professionals in the community is provided when off-campus treatment is preferred by a student, or when staff are not able to meet treatment needs. Psychiatric evaluation and treatment is available off campus via referral from our licensed psychologist. CRISIS LINE: 1-800-576-7764
Campus Safety (253-692-4416 or 2-4416 from a campus phone) is on duty 24/7. Our Safety and Security staff can connect to other UW support staff, Tacoma Police, or Tacoma emergency services as needed.
Transportation to local hospitals: If urgent transportation to a local hospital is needed, but an ambulance is not necessary, staff in Campus Safety, Counseling & Psychological Services, or the Student Affairs office can arrange for taxi service.
No Weapons Policy: Reducing access to weapons is a proven approach to reducing suicides. Weapons are not allowed on our campus.
Former Quarter Drop Policy: If a medical or mental health issue makes it impossible for a student to complete a quarter, they may petition to drop their classes. The Former Quarter Drop process provides students with a method to petition for a grade earned in a former quarter to be changed to a Registrar Drop (RD). A grade of RD does not impact your cumulative GPA or academic standing. A Former Quarter Drop (FQD) may be granted by your campus registration team if you are unable to complete or withdraw from your course(s) because of extenuating circumstances beyond your control. See the link to the Registrar's webpage
Faculty availability and training: The UW Tacoma faculty have available to them information about mental health issues common in the college population and are frequently reminded about the support services available on campus. Periodic education and training in suicide awareness, prevention and referral skills is offered to faculty and staff of UW Tacoma.