An emergency can occur anytime and may require immediate action. The following are some examples:
- Suicidal gesture, stated intention, or attempt to commit suicide
- Behavior posing an imminent threat to the student or others
- Demonstrated inability to care for oneself
Any reference to suicide should be taken very seriously, and a referral to the Counseling Center is strongly advised. If the reference includes any mention of details of a suicide plan, immediate response is imperative.
How to respond to an emergency
- If possible, offer a quiet place for the individual to talk
- Listen to the person, while maintaining a straightforward, considerate, and helpful attitude
- Do not leave the individual alone, unless you feel concern for your own safety
- Secure help as soon as possible
Whom to call in an emergency
When faced with a mental health emergency, please contact the Counseling Center directly. During business hours, call the center at 563-333-6423. After business hours, call the Security Office at 563-333-6104. Security staff will be able to make a decision as to whether the counselor needs to be called during the evening or overnight hours and also whether to involve Residence Life staff, local police, etc.
If you are concerned about imminent danger to the student or others, ask the Security person to send an officer right away. Be prepared to provide as much information as possible, including:
- Your name and department, and the name of the student in question
- Description of the situation and necessary assistance
- Exact location and description of the person in need of help