Suicide prevention support

Sometimes thoughts, and in particular suicidal thoughts, can become overwhelming. If such thoughts spiral out of control, they can put you in danger: 13% of students seriously considered suicide and 2% attempted suicide within the last 12 months (ACHA, 2019).听Sadly, suicide is one of the primary causes of death among university students听in the United States听(Suicide Prevention Resource Center, 2014).

At BT天堂, we prioritize your health and safety. Our听counseling services听are here to evaluate the risk and urgency of any situation you may be dealing with.听Recognizing signs of vulnerability is the first important step in suicide prevention.听

Signs of Vulnerability听

Signs of vulnerability can include:

  • depression, sadness, loss of interest or motivation, reclusive behavior, difficulty finding听joy in pleasurable activities, a feeling of hopelessness听or a difficulty听concentrating;
  • aggressive or auto-aggressive behavior, impulsivity or recklessness;
  • excessive alcohol听or drug consumption;
  • changes in behavior or in eating听or sleep patterns;
  • expressing dark thoughts, having a suicidal plan;
  • starting to detach from one鈥檚 possessions or听disengage from activities.

If you are experiencing any of the above, please reach out to a听counselor for support.

How Can I Help?听

As a community, we all have a role to play in suicide prevention. However, it can sometimes be difficult to start a conversation about mental health. Here are some tips on starting that conversation.

How Can I Help a Friend in Need?

Students are often more likely to reach out first to their peers for support. Below are a few tips on how to start a conversation with your friend.

When helping your friend, remember to have a clear idea on what kind of help you are able and willing to provide. It is important that you know your own limits and boundaries, so you don't overstep them. Remember that your role is not to fix your friend鈥檚 problems, but most of all to point your friend toward听the available help they need听to get better, such as BT天堂's counseling office. Remember that听your friend will confide in you in trust: what they share should therefore听remain confidential, unless you鈥檙e concerned about your friend鈥檚 safety. In that case, you听need then to reach out right away to one of the听emergency contact and support options listed below.

How Can I Help One of My Students in Need?

Whether you are staff or faculty, working closely with students means that you will often be听more likely to notice signs听that a student is struggling.

Even though you may be听a gatekeeper of sorts, remember that you are not alone: the chair or other members of your department, as well as the counseling office,听can help you support your student. If you are concerned about a student's safety, please reach out immediately to one of the emergency contact and support options listed below: this is when confidentiality needs to be lifted.

Helpful Tips to Start a Conversation
  • Make sure you鈥檙e in a space where you won鈥檛 be interrupted and where you will feel comfortable broaching possibly sensitive subjects.
  • The best way to start the conversation is by being as straightforward as possible: 鈥淒o you have some time right now? Are you ok? I noticed this change and I鈥檓 concerned about you. How are you doing?鈥
  • Privilege listening over talking.
  • Be empathetic: rather than trying to fix their problem, listen to and acknowledge their difficulties and try to see things from their point of view.
  • Be fully engaged and focused on the interaction.
  • Show that you care and encourage them to seek help.
  • Check-in with them later on, especially if you said that you would.
  • Ask them directly if they鈥檙e feeling suicidal, for example: 鈥淵ou said that you鈥檙e feeling very sad and depressed right now and I was wondering if you'd had suicidal thoughts as well?鈥 If they are feeling suicidal, please reach out immediately to one of the emergency contacts below.
  • If you鈥檙e unsure about the best way to help, remember that the counseling team is here to help you.
Additional Student Resources

This short video by Seize the Awkward gives you a few other examples of how to reach out to a friend.

Additional Faculty/Staff Resources

Take a look at this brief online training exercise by the Zero Suicide Alliance on suicide awareness:

When a person lets you know that they have had听suicidal thoughts, the best approach is to listen, express your concern听and provide support.听It is important to understand and validate your friend鈥檚 or student鈥檚 suffering, rather than听trying to judge or argue against suicide.听Know听that听our听counseling team听is here to help.


In case of emergency,these services can be contacted 24/7:

  • European Emergency Services: 112
  • International SOS:听+33 1 55 63 36 35
  • SOS Help: This helpline offers support through difficult times and can be reached daily,听3pm鈥11pm,听at 01 46 21 46 46
  • Nightline Paris: This evening hotline is run by students for students and can be reached from Thursday to Monday, 9pm鈥2:30am,听at 01 88 32 12 33

Remember that asking about suicide will not push a person to act on suicidal thoughts; they may well听be relieved to be able to share their听suffering and听express their pain. It is also important to keep in mind that听a suicidal crisis can last several weeks, and it is therefore听necessary to continue checking-in regularly, even after the first signs of improvement.听

In any case where you have concerns or need advice, please reach out to听counseling services听for advice and support.


Sometimes it can feel more comfortable to reach out first to a peer.听The Take Care Club is here to connect you with helpful resources.

The Take Care Club is a听student-led club that allows students to reach out to peer leaders in order to learn more about the different听wellness听and mentalhealth opportunities听that BT天堂 has to offer, in a safe and welcoming environment.

Take Care Club also promotes events in collaboration with the Wellness Room, located in Grenelle, and creates informative听events surrounding mental health and well-being.

To receive information about upcoming events, follow the Take Care Club on Instagram, , or consult our .听For any questions or suggestions, contact the Take Care Club at听 The club is supervised by the guidance counselor Charlotte Vernier, who can be contacted at

The Suicide Prevention and Response Team

The Suicide Prevention and Response Team brings together essential听staff, faculty and students to promote suicide prevention on campus and provide support in the case of a student death by suicide. Among other tasks, the committee:听

  • contributes to suicide prevention;
  • provides on-campus mental health and community outreach support to students, staff and faculty; and
  • conducts pre-crisis training and runs simulations to ensure preparedness.