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Resources for Students in Crisis

Faculty, TA’s, and staff will often be the first to encounter a student who is in distress. Encouraging and helping the student to seek assistance with the appropriate campus and community resources is important. If you suspect a student is in crisis, the number one priority should be their safety and well being. Connecting them with the resources can help them through this difficult time.

BYU Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

Phone: 801-422-3035
If you are in crisis during normal business hours, please call 801-422-3035 to be connected to a therapist via videoconferencing.
After hours: 801-422-2222 (Ask for the after-hours counselor)

24/7 Crisis Text Line

Text HOME to 741741 for free, 24/7 crisis support in the United States. Every texter is connected with a Crisis Counselor, a real-life human being trained to bring texters from a hot moment to a cool calm through active listening and collaborative problem solving.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention, and crisis resources for you or your loved ones.

UT County Crisis Line

Our Talk Line is a free and confidential listening line and is available 9am-9pm Monday-Friday. Everyone should have a “safe” person they can call in difficult times, or in times of loneliness; let us be there for you.

Sexual Assault Resources

Victim Advocate: Dr. Lisa Leavitt | 801-422-9071 or
Women’s Services and Resources | 801-22-4877
Title IX Office | 801-422-8692
Student Health Center | 801-422-2771
BYU Police | 801-422-2222

Imminent Risk to Self or Others

If the student poses an imminent threat to themselves or others, call the BYU Police at 801-422-2222.
If they would prefer not to talk to a CAPS psychologist, and you feel they are in imminent danger, please call 911 or get them to the nearest emergency room: Utah Valley Hospital (1034 N. 500 W., Provo, UT 84604; 801-357-2130)

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline- #BeThe1To

#BeThe1To is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s message for National Suicide Prevention Month and beyond, which helps spread the word about actions we can all take to prevent suicide. The Lifeline network and its partners are working to change the conversation from suicide to suicide prevention, to actions that can promote healing, help and give hope.

QPR Training through BYU CAPS

QPR is a nationally recognized suicide prevention program aimed at helping you know what to do and say when someone close to you is considering suicide. We’ll teach you what signs to look for, how to approach someone who’s struggling, and where to go for help. Come to our hour-long training and learn to be an officially certified QPR Gatekeeper!

Recognizing a Student in Crisis

High risk indicators

  • Suicidal thoughts; a negative perception of life
  • Intense feelings of hopelessness and futility, particularly if accompanied by anxiety
  • Feelings of alienation and isolation
  • The idea that death is an agent for the cessation of distress
  • A personal and/or family history of depression
  • A personal and/or family history of previous attempts
  • A history of substance abuse
  • A history of self-damaging acts.
  • Talk about or write a lot about death and dying
  • Have a specific plan for killing themselves;
  • Have a means (such as medication, knives, or a gun)
  • Abuse alcohol and other substances
  • Tend to be socially isolated
Imminent Danger Signs*

  • Highly disruptive behavior (hostility, aggression)
  • Inability to communicate clearly (disjointed thoughts, slurred speech)
  • Loss of contact with reality (seeing/hearing things that are not there, beliefs or actions that are at odds with reality)
  • Overt suicidal thoughts and gestures (suicide is a current option)
  • Homicidal threats

*In imminent danger situations, call Campus Police at 801-422-2222.

Responding to a Student in Crisis

When possible, see the student in private.Minimize the situation or sound shocked by what they tell you. All threats need to be handled as potentially lethal.
Remain calm and in control of the situation.Argue with the student about the merits of living or moral aspects of suicide.
Be direct—ask if the student is suicidal, if they have a plan and if they have the means to carry out this plan. This exploration may actually decrease the impulse to commit suicide (at least temporarily as it relieves the pressure).Be afraid to ask the student about his/her intent and/or plans of suicide.
Take the student seriously and acknowledge that the threat is a serious plea for help.Over commit yourself and not be able to deliver what you promised.
Listen to the student and respond with concern and care.Agree to be bound by confidentiality.
Reassure the student that you will help them reach a psychologist or psychiatrist. If possible, accompany the student to CAPS (1500 WSC) or Student Health. CAPS offers professional help M-F 8:00 -5:00. Please contact CAPS (422-3035) or Student Health Services (422-2771) for consultation.Allow the student’s friends to take care of the student without getting a professional opinion.
If the student is in immediate danger, call Campus Police at 422-2222 or 911.
If it is after hours and the student is not in immediate danger, encourage the student to talk with a licensed counselor by phone. Seek consultation even if the student is not willing to go to counseling.