Suicide Prevention at the University of Memphis 

The University of Memphis is committed to the mental health wellness of our students, faculty and staff. As such, and in compliance with the requirements of § 49-7-172, we have developed a suicide prevention plan that engages in a variety of initiatives to improve and provide crisis services. The University of Memphis' Suicide Prevention Plan is emailed to faculty, staff and students each academic term. 

Suicide Prevention, Intervention, and Postvention Plan

  • Click HERE to review the full suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention plan.
  • Interested in suicide prevention training? Visit our QPR Suicide Prevention training page to learn more about getting trained. 
  • There are three (3) primary components of the plan listed and detailed below at the following links: 
    • Prevention
      • UofM will provide suicide prevention training and resources through existing, standardized training opportunities as well as training and resources that are specifically tailored to the campus community
    • Intervention
      • When a student, faculty, or staff member encounters a student with suicidal intent, making suicidal statements, writing suicidal notes, and/or exhibiting self-harm, such as cutting or any similar at-risk behaviors, the following individual should be contacted immediately:
        • First, contact UofM Police Services at 901.678.HELP (4357) if medical attention is required.
        • Second, contact UofM Counseling Center at 901-678-2068 for assistance. If the crisis occurs after hours, contact the Tiger Care Line at 901.678.2068 and dial 2 to speak to a crisis counselor. Click to learn more about our newly expanded crisis service, the Tiger Care Line. 
    • Postvention
      • Campus leadership and the communications department developed a protocol that includes a campus response to a student/faculty/staff suicide to decrease the trauma experienced by the students and other campus community members left behind and to help prevent further suicides through contagion. 

Things to look out for

  • Previous attempts
    4 out of 5 people who actually die by suicide have attempted suicide at least once previously.
  • Significant loss
    Any real or perceived loss such as a death, a relationship breakup, loss of status/prestige, or physical impairment. 
  • Alcohol or other drug abuse
    If a person cannot resist using a drug or control the amount used, there is a substance abuse problem.
  • Suicide plan
    The more specific the plan, the greater the risk.
  • Giving possessions away
  • Behaving recklessly 
  • Change in mood or demeanor
    Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain, being a burden to others, etc.
  • Talking about suicide
    This may be stated directly: "I'm going to kill myself." Or indirectly: "You would be better off without me," or "Soon you won't have to worry about me anymore."

There may be other indicators. If you have any doubt, please call

  1. University of Memphis Police Services 901.678.4357 / 901.678.HELP
    • If not on campus dial 911
  2. The Counseling Center for help at 901.678.2068 during business hours

How You Can Help

You might have never directly dealt with a suicidal person. If such a situation presents itself, you might feel uncomfortable, helpless, or even overwhelmed. Despite these feelings, it is very important that you show support to this person: ask them about any suicidal thinking, and refer them to get help. Doing so can be the difference between life and death. Here are some simple steps to follow:

  • Listen, Listen, Listen
  • Directly ask about suicidal intentions
  • Avoid being judgmental or arguing about the moral issues regarding suicide
  • Take every complaint or reference to suicide seriously
  • Express care
  • Tell them that help is available and let them know how to seek help
  • Follow up with the individual you are concerned about
  • Seek out and take time for your own self care
  • Be trained in QPR

Suggested Reading

The Cultural Distinctions in Whether, When and How People Engage in Suicidal Behavior

Dunne, Edward, McIntosh, John and Dunne- Maxim, Karen. (Eds.). Suicide and Its Aftermath: Understanding and Counseling the Survivors. New York: W.W. Norton, 1987.

Linzer, Norman. Suicide: The Will To Live Vs. The Will To Die. New York: Human Science Press, 1984.

Lord, Janice Harris. No Time For Good-byes: Coping with Sorrow, Anger and Injustice After a Tragic Death. Ventura, Ca.: Path- finder Publishing, 1988.

Rosenthal, Howard. Not With My Life I Don't: Preventing Your Suicide and That of Others. Muncie, IN.: Accelerated Development, 1988.

Additional Resources

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention 

     Established in 1987, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is a voluntary health organization that gives those affected by suicide a nationwide community empowered by research, education and advocacy to take action against this leading cause of death.

The Trevor Project
     Around-the-clock crisis and suicide prevention helpline for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth.

The JED Foundation

     The University of Memphis is proud to be recognized as a JED campus. The Jed Foundation’s Mental Health Resource Center provides essential information about common emotional health issues and shows teens and young adults how they can support one another, overcome challenges, and make a successful transition to adulthood.

The Counseling Center Mental Healt and Self Care Resources

     We know that self care is important anytime and we provide many different sources for students to figure out what works best for you.