Oakland University

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(248) 370-2100

Suicide Prevention

Grizzlies Response: Awareness and Suicide Prevention (GRASP) was started by several OU professors who saw a need for mental health awareness, particularly suicide prevention, on campus and in the community. The views, policies and opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of SAMHSA or HHS.

Resources for Students

Peers reaching out to peers is one of the best strategies for suicide prevention. If you see the warning signs in your friend, do not ignore them. Students in distress are more likely to approach their friends before they talk to a professional. As a student, you might be in a position where a friend may share their feelings with you more directly. 

Campus Resources

The OU Counseling Center provides excellent resources on how to identify and approach troubled students.

You may not be comfortable approaching a fellow student about whom you are concerned. There are other options. If you have a concern about a student, faculty, or staff member, you can:

  • Consult a counselor at the OU Counseling Center at (248) 370-3465
  • Consult the Dean of Students at (248) 370-3352 (for concerns about a student)
  • Use OU’s Report and Support feature (for anyone on campus). 

If you feel that an individual is in immediate danger of harming himself or herself or someone else, please call OU police at (248) 370-3331.

How Can I Help?

Reach out to your friend. Express your concern. Be direct and honest. Encourage getting help without sitting in judgment, acting shocked or suggesting that you have all the answers. And – above all – be available and listen. You may not understand what your friend is going through, but you can help him/her through it. Don’t be a counselor.

Learn the resources available so that you can provide your friend with options. Be persistent – because of the stigma associated with getting professional help for mental health concerns, your friend may not be willing to seek the help that he/she needs. Offer to call if he/she is reluctant, or offer to come to the first appointment. It is often the first step that is the hardest.

Take Care of Yourself

Helping a friend who is struggling with a mental health problem can be very stressful. Recognize your own personal limits and be aware of your own needs for staying healthy. Remember, you are not a mental health care provider; you are simply a supportive friend. It is not your responsibility to save someone; your only responsibility is to care and get the person to help. If you need help, don’t hesitate to get it!

Check out Half of Us, a collaboration by mtvU and the Jed Foundation to promote mental health awareness for college students. It offers a confidential online assessment and more.

Resources for Faculty/Staff

Help is available to faculty and staff at OU who might be facing mental health issues or know someone who is. Faculty and staff resources include the OU Counseling Center, the SEHS Counseling Center, and the Employee Assistance Program.

OU Counseling Center

Counseling is not available for faculty or staff but the OU Counseling Center staff will help direct a faculty or staff member to the appropriate resources.

The OU Counseling Center provides excellent resources on how to identify and approach troubled individuals.

 If you have a concern about a student, faculty, or staff member, you can:

  • Consult a counselor at the OU Counseling Center at (248) 370-3465
  • Consult the Dean of Students at (248) 370-3352 (for concerns about a student)
  • Use OU’s Report and Support feature (for anyone on campus). 

If you feel that an individual is in immediate danger of harming himself or herself or someone else, please call OU Police at (248) 370-3331.

SEHS Counseling Center (in Pawley Hall)

  • All staff, faculty and students are eligible for general counseling services provided by graduate students in training
    • Excludes crisis counseling, substance abuse issues, court-ordered counseling and severe mental health issues
  • Services are free  

Contact the SEHS Counseling Center for more information.

Unum & Health Advocate Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

The Oakland University and Unum partnership provides an additional benefit to members, which is an Employee Assistance Program offered through a third-party company called Health Advocate. You can contact Health Advocate 24/7 for confidential assistance with the following items:

  • A Licensed Professional Counselor can help with stress, depression, anxiety, relationship issues, divorce, job stress, work conflicts, family or parenting problems, anger, grief, loss, and more.
  • Work/Life Specialists at Health Advocate can answer questions and help you find resources in your community to assist with the following topics: child care, elder care, legal questions, identity theft, financial services, debt management, credit reporting issues, reducing medical/dental bills, and more.
  • Call Health Advocate at 800-854-1446 (multi-lingual) or go online to www.unum.com/lifebalance.

Contact HR for more information on the program.

Helping Someone in Need and Warning Signs

Many students initially seek assistance from faculty or staff members when they are having problems meeting their academic responsibilities. Others don’t seek the assistance directly but may display warning signs that they are having difficulties managing their academic and personal life. Faculty and staff may also have colleagues that come to them when they are having problems. The same warning signs and guidelines for helping someone apply for faculty, staff, and students.

How to Flag Content as Suicidal

The Suicide Prevention Lifeline has compiled a list of the top social media sites that allow a user to flag content as suicidal and alert the site moderators. The moderators will generally contact the user and provide the number to the Suicide Prevention Lifeline, although each site has its own protocols.  For the full list and links to their reporting mechanisms, please view the Suicide Prevention Lifeline web page, and see "Contact Safety Teams at Social Media Sites".

Quick Resource Links
On-Campus Resources

Emergency - OU Police
Phone: 911 (from a campus phone) (248) 370-3333
Location: Meadowbrook Road, across from Science and Engineering buildings
Availability: 24/7

OU Counseling Center
Phone: (248) 370-3465
Location: East Wing of the Graham Health Center, just north of Meadow Brook Theater
Availability: Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

SEHS Counseling Center
Phone: (248) 370-2633
Location: 2nd Floor of Pawley Hall
Availability: Monday-Thursday 9 a.m. -  9 p.m., Friday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.*

*Center is closed when classes are not in session and for all holidays.

Off-Campus Resources

Common Ground
Phone: (248) 456-0909 (800) 231-1127 (toll-free)
Location: Multiple locations in Oakland County
Availability: 24/7

Macomb Crisis Center
Phone: (586) 307-9100
Location: Multiple locations in Macomb County
Availability: 24/7

(LGBTQ Support)
Phone: (800) 398-GAYS
Location: 290 W. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale, MI 48220
Availability: Monday-Saturday 3 - 9 p.m.

(Domestic & Sexual Violence Support)
Phone: (248) 334-1274
Location: Multiple locations in Oakland County
Availability: 24/7

Oakland Family Services
Phone: (248) 853-0750 (866) 903-8955 (toll-free)
Location: Multiple locations in Oakland County
Availability: Monday-Thursday 9 a.m. - 9 p.m., Friday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.*

*Hours vary by location.

Macomb Family Services
Phone: (586) 226-3440
Location: Multiple locations in Macomb County
Availability: Monday-Thursday 9 a.m. - 9 p.m., Friday 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.*

*Hours vary by location.

State and National Resources and Hotlines

View a list of national resources and hotlines. This list includes resources for everyone, but also has resources for specific populations including students, veterans, LGBTQ, mothers, etc.

Request Training

Training on Mental Illness and Suicide

Material based on current best-practices and evidence-based practices from the Suicide Prevention Resource Center and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is used to provide training to address the needs of students, faculty and staff at OU related to mental illness and suicide prevention. The training includes:

  • Background information on mental illness and suicide
  • Warning signs of mental illness and suicide
  • OU-specific information and resources
  • Skills to approach an individual in-need

Training is open to OU faculty, staff and students.  Sessions are approximately 1.5 hours and are free of charge.

A minimum of 10 participants is preferred for training sessions, but smaller groups may be accommodated.

Request a training now.

Mental First Aid Training

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is an internationally recognized, "in-person training that teaches you how to help people developing a mental illness or in a crisis". The material is based on current best-practices and evidence-based practices. Participants have been demonstrated to:

  • Grow their knowledge of signs, symptoms and risk factors of mental illnesses and addictions.
  • Identify multiple types of professional and self-help resources for individuals with a mental illness or addiction.
  • Increase their confidence in and likelihood to help an individual in distress.
  • Show increased mental wellness themselves.

Studies also show that the program reduces stigma. 

Sessions are 8 hours in length and offered both in person at OU and in a hybrid format. Hybrid formats require 2 hours of individual online work prior to a 6 hour virtual training session (8 hours total). In person training will be offered in both a single-day session or split into two 4-hour sessions.

Training is available for OU faculty, staff and students and is free of charge. Sessions are limited to 20 participants.