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Helping Someone Experiencing Thoughts of Suicide

If you are concerned about a student's well-being, you can make an important difference by taking steps to ensure they are connected to support.

  1. If you believe that a student’s behaviour is an imminent threat to self or others, dial 911 or call Campus Police at 519-253-3000 ext. 4444 immediately.

  2. In the absence of an emergency, alert the Assessment and Care Team by fillng out a Care Alert. 

  3. You can also contact the Assessment and Care Team by emailing

The Assessment and Care Team (ACT) is a multidisciplinary team of individuals within the campus community who are trained in threat assessment and behavioural intervention strategies. They are responsible for coordinating information, strategies, support services and resources of the University in order to assist students who may be in distress and/or exhibiting behaviours of concern. In so doing, the ACT encourages student health and well-being, a successful academic experience, and a safe campus environment.

To learn more about the Assessment and Care Team, click here.

The Care Alert is a secure online form that can be completed by faculty, staff, students, family, and members of the community who are concerned about a student's well-being. All Care Alerts go directly to the Assessment and Care Team (ACT), who discuss every Care Alert submitted and identify intervention strategies on a case-by-case basis that will provide the student and the campus community with the best level of support. Wherever possible, ACT will involve you or others closest to the student in the implementation of these strategies. Please note that the Care Alert is not designed to provide immediate crisis or emergency intervention, but the team will aim to respond within 24-48 hours.

We encourage you to submit a Care Alert anytime you are concerned about a student's well-being. You are not required to make a determination about whether or not the person is in need of support, it is only your role to get the process started. It is the Assessment and Care Team's responsibility to assess risk, identify needs, and determine referrals.

If you are a student and you are worried about your own well-being, you can complete a Care Alert form by clicking here and a member of the University of Windsor's Assessment and Care Team will follow up with you to provide supports and resources within 24-48 business hours. Please note they cannot provide immediate crisis response. If you need crisis support, please visit our crisis resource webpage by clicking here.

There are many reasons why someone might submit a Care Alert. Some examples include:

  • Written or verbal statements endorsing violence
  • Written or verbal threats (direct or indirect) to self or others
  • Reports and/or appearance of being anxious, depressed, or tearful
  • Overreaction to situations (e.g., lack of boundaries, aggressive or angry behaviour, inability to redirect focus off the situation)
  • Expressions of suicidal thoughts or feelings of hopelessness
  • Notable changes in appearance or behaviour
  • Behaviours that regularly interfere with classroom environment or management

Care Alerts are not limited to these examples. If you are concerned about a student, please reach out.

If you believe that a student's behaviour is an imminent threat to self or others, please dial 911 or call Campus Police at 519-253-3000 Ext. 4444 immediately. 

Best Practice Skills for Caring

When someone trusts you enough to tell you that they are thinking about suicide, or if you are concerned about someone who seems to be going through a difficult time, it can sometimes be hard to know what to say. Many people worry about saying the wrong thing or wonder if they are the right person to intervene. Knowing that someone cares enough to listen and provide a connection to professional supports is a powerful way to help someone who is experiencing thoughts of suicide to feel seen, heard, and less alone. Connection can save lives.

Feeling prepared for conversations about suicide and other mental health concerns is an important way that you can empower yourself to be that person who makes a difference. The following resources provide an introduction to this skill-building. 

More Feet on the Ground is a project by the Centre for Innovation in Campus Mental Health offering a free, on-demand certificate course that teaches skills for recognizing and responding to student mental health concerns on campus. Their website also provides an open-access video library highlighting best-practice helping skills and stories of lived experience. To access More Feet on the Ground, click here.

Be There is a web-based resource that offers a free, on-demand certificate course developed by It provides education and skill-building on how to safely be there for someone who is struggling with their mental health. To access Be There, click here.

The Student Counselling Centre has developed a collection of online resources for faculty and staff to help support UWindsor employees in identifying and referring students in distress. Please click on the links below to learn more.

Supporting Students

Identifying Students in Distress

Responding to Students in Distress

How to Make a Referral

If you are interested in bringing in-person training to your department or team, please reach out to to request a session. The Student Counselling Centre offers the following two-hour trainings led by members of our clinical team:

  • QPR Suicide Prevention Training (certificate)
  • Identifying and Responding to Students in Distress

For information and resources on supporting young people through a variety of life's challenges, please visit this collection of articles provided by Kids Help Phone