As a parent of a college student, you continue to play an important role in supporting the well-being and the safety of your son or daughter. You can do so by keeping the lines of communication open (via phone, email, text, etc.), knowing the warning signs for emotional difficulties (see below), encouraging your son or daughter to use the services at the Student Counseling Center, and calling Student Counseling if you are concerned (954) 424-6911. The only real risk is in doing nothing.
The JED Foundation, a nonprofit organization working to prevent suicide and promote mental health among college students, offers excellent suggestions for parents on their website:
Direct and indirect statements and/or behaviors that indicate an individual is at risk for suicidal or homicidal behaviors.
- Threatening harm to self or others
- Seeking access to firearms, pills, or other lethal means
- Talking or writing about death, dying, or suicide
- Depression, hopelessness, shame
- Feeling rage or uncontrolled anger
- Seeking revenge
- Acting reckless
- Excessive alcohol or drug use
- Withdrawing from friends, family, and responsibilities
- Experiencing anxiety, agitation, insomnia, excessive sleeping
- Severe mood swings
- Expressing no reason for living or no sense of purpose in life
When information is not enough:
- Head to an emergency room or mental health walk-in clinic
- Do not leave the person alone until a professional is with him/her (unless you are in danger)
- Remove any firearms, alcohol, drugs, or sharp objects from the situation if possible
This website was developed [in part] under a grant number SM-09-001 from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The views, policies, and opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of SAMHSA or HHS.