Suicide Prevention and Intervention

Updated September 16, 2021

The University at Buffalo seeks to address suicidal and other harmful behaviors through a comprehensive prevention approach. This involves a wide range of campus and community resources and constituencies, such as faculty, staff, students, parents, and local mental health services to foster an environment where self-care, connectedness, and knowledge of resources are valued and readily accessed or implemented.

Campus and community resources include:

  • Counseling Services: A professional, culturally competent and experienced staff of social workers, mental health counselors, psychologists, and psychiatric nurse practitioners providing free, confidential individual, couples, and group counseling services to all registered UB students.
  • Crisis Support: during business hours, crisis support is available for students who are confronting life-threatening circumstances, current or recent traumatic experiences, and whose daily functioning has been severely disrupted by personal problems or overwhelming emotions. Please call UB Counseling at 716-645-2720 in the event of a mental health emergency.
  • After-hours mental health intervention is available for students who are experiencing a mental health emergency when the office is closed.  Please call 716-645-2720 and select option #2 to reach a counselor.
  • Crisis Text Line. The Crisis Text Line provides 24-hour support for people experiencing a mental health or situational crisis. Users are connected to a trained Crisis Counselor, who will help them develop a plan to stay safe. Messages are confidential, anonymous and secure. Data usage while texting the Crisis Text Line is free and the number will not appear on a phone bill. Text: “HOME” to 741741
  • Health Promotion, strives to create a campus community comprised of balanced and whole individuals by providing theory- and research-based, student-centered health education programming to minimize or eliminate potential health risks.
  • Health Services offers free medical care appointments with registered nurses, nurse practitioners and physicians for all UB students. Costs for lab work and prescriptions incurred as a result of the visit are the responsibility of the student.
  • University Police, 645-2222 are open 24/7. They can assist individuals in a number of ways including connecting students with other UB services or with emergency services if needed.
  • Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program at Erie County Medical Center is available for students who are feeling imminently suicidal and or fear they may harm someone else. Transportation to the emergency room can be arranged through University Police. Psychiatric evaluation and inpatient hospitalization is available to help you through the crisis and the staff will develop a continuing treatment plan with you.
  • Consultation is available for any UB staff, faculty, student, or UB parent worried about another campus member through Counseling Services.
  • Referral to professionals in the community is provided when off-campus treatment is preferred by a student or when Counseling Center Services is not able to meet treatment needs of students.
  • On-line Mental Health Screenings for depression, anxiety, eating disorders, bipolar disorders and alcohol misuse are available through the Counseling Services website.
  • TAO Self-Help is a completely private online library of behavioral resources that includes interactive educational modules and practice tools to help you understand and manage how you feel, think and act.  
  • Campus-wide suicide awareness trainings are offered throughout the year for students, faculty, and staff on suicide prevention, mental health awareness, and referral skills.  This includes a program called Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) which is on SAMHSA's National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices.
  • Posters, campus newspaper advertisements, brochures, and other promotional products throughout UB campuses and on social media provide students with information about emotional wellness and other Student Wellness Team services (Counseling ServicesHealth Promotion, Health Services).
  • Student Advocate Helpline, 645-6154, is a number that University at Buffalo community members can call in order to be directed to the correct office for assistance if they are concerned about the safety, behavior, or emotional well-being of someone.
  • Student of Concern Committee (SOC). Composed of administrators from Student Life, this committee meets weekly to coordinate individualized responses to support students who are identified as struggling.
  • Mandated Assessment may be required for students who have violated the Student Code of Conduct, The Residence Hall Code of Conduct, or the NCAA alcohol and substance abuse policy. This appointment at Counseling Services aims to help the student understand what led to the event, what he or she might have done differently, and how to handle future situations more safely and effectively. This policy is not intended as a punishment for students; instead, it is intended to help students deal with the stresses of their lives and with their own emotions, and to connect the student to helpful resources.
  • No Weapons Policy: The possession of firearms, ammunition, and any weapons is prohibited on the UB campus.
  • Withdrawal Policy for Medical or Other Emergencies. If a medical or mental health issue or a sudden and catastrophic incident makes it impossible for a student to complete a semester, the University at Buffalo allows students to petition for a Withdrawal. For more information, contact the Registrar's Office, 716-645-5698.
  • Suicide Prevention Week: The university conducts programming during each Fall semester.
  • Buffalo and Erie County 24 Hour Crisis Hotline: Anyone of any age who is experiencing a personal, emotional or mental health crisis can call 24 hours a day at 716-834-3131.
  • Employee Relations. The Employee Relations (ER) department provides assistance to the UB and UB Research Foundation employee community in promoting a productive and positive campus work environment. 
  • Employee Assistance Program. The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides information, assessment, problem-solving and referral services for all UB faculty, staff, families and retirees on any work-life concern.  EAP services are free, voluntary and confidential.
  • Wellness and Work Life Balance. Employees’ can access programs and services at no cost to improve their personal wellness.