Policy Governing Threatened or Attempted Suicide by Students
The stress of the college experience and the normal developmental issues of young adulthood place some students under emotional pressures that occasionally manifests itself in a threat or attempt by the student to take his or her own life.
The University will treat all threats or attempted suicides as serious regardless of the degree of lethality involved. When a student threatens or attempts suicide, the University will take the steps necessary, which may include removal of the student from the University to an appropriate setting.
Unless there is clear and convincing evidence that the student is no longer a risk to himself or herself and there is strong evidence that the student’s continuation at the University is not in the student’s best interest, it is the policy of the University to administratively withdraw a student who has threatened or attempted suicide or who exhibits life-threatening behavior. Decisions will be based on evaluation of mental health recommendations reviewed by the Dean of Students or designee, in consultation with the University Counselor and/or the University Physician.
Procedures to follow governing threatened or attempted suicide by a student.
The following are guidelines for the implementation of this policy. It is recognized that special circumstances may arise which require deviation from these guidelines, and that administrative discretion must be exercised in these circumstances.
- Upon learning that a student has threatened or attempted suicide, the Dean of Students (or designee) or Wittenberg Chief of Police (or designee) should be contacted.
The Dean (or designee) or Chief of Police (or designee) will notify:
- a. Medical emergency personnel (as needed)
- b. University Counseling Service (during office hours) or Clark County Mental Health Service (other times)
- Medical emergency personnel or Wittenberg Police/Security will transport the student to the hospital for medical evaluation and mental health assessment.
- The Dean (or designee) will contact the family of the student who threatened or attempted suicide, when appropriate, and will render support to family members and significant others as needed.
- A student who has attempted suicide will be required to return home for a period of stability, prior to returning to the rigors of social and academic life. The student will be asked to leave the University immediately. If a short period of time is necessary to make arrangements to return home, the University will strive to provide safety measures. Examples of safekeeping may be through hospitalization, staff supervision or Wittenberg Police/Security involvement. While at home the student will be required to have a psychological assessment and any other medical care and be willing to follow treatment recommendations. Documentation of these interventions must be received by the Dean and reviewed by the University Counselor prior to the student’s return to campus.
- If it is decided that the student should not be allowed to return to campus, the Dean will recommend withdrawal from the University.
- Students who threaten or attempt suicide will be required to meet with the University Counselor, and to adhere to any recommendations made in consultation with qualified health care professionals regarding ongoing treatment and support. If necessary, students will be referred to local mental health professionals for ongoing treatment services. Failure to comply with mandated treatment recommendations may result in involuntary suspension.