Student Wellbeing

Suicide Safer: Supporting Students in Distress

Suicide Safer: Supporting Students in Distress


Get help here if you are concerned about the risk of suicide at any point.


Newcastle University seeks to do all it can provide a safe and healthy environment for all our whole university community and we recognise that Suicide is one of the most distressing and complex of societal challenges.

There are many factors that can lead a person to experience suicidal thoughts or actions including social, psychological, and cultural factors. For many people, a suicide attempt may occur after an extended period of suicidal thoughts; while for others, it may be more impulsive, yet we know suicide does not have to be an inevitability. As such we have developed a strategy which aims to provide a whole University approach to creating a Suicide-Safer campus and have aligned this with Universities UK’s Step Change: Healthy Universities, and UUK guidance ‘Suicide-Safer Universities’

This strategy will remain an active agile  document to ensure further opportunities to identify proactive action are taken, the most appropriate support agencies are up to date and risk factors are continually monitored. Further documents including an action plan, procedures and guidance will be created by a Working Group and owned by the University Health and Wellbeing Sub-Committee. 

Here is a link to our Suicide Safer University Strategy.‌

Supporting Students in Distress

The links below may be useful in helping you decide how to respond when a student is in distress:

Relevant Training

There are many factors that can lead a person to experience suicidal thoughts or actions including social, psychological and cultural factors. For many people, a suicide attempt may occur after a long period of suicidal thoughts, while for others, it may be more impulsive.

Data from the Office for National Statistics shows that suicide within the student population is increasing. There are a number of factors specifically relating to Higher Education that may increase the risk of suicide for students, these include transition, alcohol and substance misuse, financial pressures, academic and social expectations of university life, underlying disability or medical issue.

Students may also be at a greater risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviours if they have been bereaved or affected by suicide in others. This experience process is known as ‘contagion’ and may include exposure to press coverage of suicide and social media which is especially relevant to the student population. The Zero Suicide Alliance estimate that each individual death from suicide can affect at least 20 other people.

Deliberate self-injury behaviour has also increased amongst young people over the last 15 years. Although some people who self-injure are at a high risk of suicide many people who self-injure do not wish to end their lives.

It is vital that everyone is able to understand suicide and actions to take when concerned if someone is at risk of suicide by completing the below training.

Training Student Edition: This edition of suicide awareness training has been developed specifically for university students and includes information and scenarios that are related to experiences at university.

Training Step Up: Gives an introduction on how to support someone isolated during Covid and only takes 5 to 10 minutes to complete.

Training Gateway: is an introduction to suicide awareness and in just 10 minutes you will learn skills to help someone considering suicide.

Training, Let’s Talkis an expanded version of Gateway and is a 20 minute training sessions.  It focuses on reducing stigma, encouraging open conversation and will give you the skills and confidence to help someone who may be considering suicide.

Remember all training can be challenging, especially if you are a suicide survivor or have been bereaved by suicide. It may be important to have someone you can talk to while you complete the training.

Students can receive 24/7 support by downloading our free TalkCampus app.

Staff can receive 24/7 support by calling our Employee Assistance Service on 0800 030 5182

Further Information

Below are some links to useful information

Mental Health Awareness: Training for Staff

Mental Health Awareness: Training for Students

Internal Prevent Training

Charlie Waller Memorial Trust Supporting Students (Higher Education)

These 20 minute e-learning sessions are designed for all staff in university settings with the aim being to build confidence in supporting students around mental health.

The sessions are specifically written for those staff who do not hold specialist roles in mental health in the university, such as counsellors, mental health advisers etc., but rather all other staff who offer day-to-day support to students in a range of settings, such as, in residences, cafes, security staff, careers, libraries and in academic pastoral support, for example.

Personal Tutor Training

Responding to Distressed Students Guide

Suicide bereavement postvention resources for those bereaved or affected by suicide

Suicide bereavement educational materials for those bereaved or affected by suicide

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