For purposes of this policy, “suicidal behavior” shall include an actual attempt to commit suicide or any other act or behavior which could result in death or serious bodily harm to the individual. This may include any verbal or written statement expressing an intention to commit suicide or to self-inflict serious bodily harm. The University of St. Thomas recognizes that suicidal behavior is not only self-destructive to the individual, but may also adversely affect and disrupt the lives of others within the University community. Accordingly, the University of St. Thomas has established the following policy:
- All suicidal behavior will be taken seriously.
- If suicidal behavior is brought to the attention of a mental health professional at Counseling and Wellness Services, these individuals are bound by professional ethics to keep this information confidential. An exception exists if the student is believed to be in probable imminent danger of harming him or herself. In such cases, the professional may break confidentiality in order to protect the student or others from harm. Whenever possible, the mental health professional at Counseling and Wellness Services would work with the student to get the help necessary for stabilization.
- If the initial notification of suicidal behavior is made to a UST Police or Community Service Officer, that officer shall immediately attempt to contact a mental health professional at the Counseling and Wellness Services office. The officer shall then notify the Vice President for Student Affairs and/or the Dean of Students. If physical self-harm is imminent, the Officer shall immediately call 911.
- If a student causes behavioral disturbances, refuses professional help, or behaves in such a way that his or her safety is in question and the student’s suicidal behavior is brought to the attention of the Vice President for Student Affairs and/or the Dean of Students by a member of the University community, the notified administrator will decide the course of action that serves the best interests of the individual involved and the University community.
Other needed actions will be determined by the Vice President of Student Affairs and/or the Dean of Students. To view the Suicidal Behavior Policy in its entirety, visit the UST policy portal. Persons having questions regarding this policy should contact the Dean of Students at 713-525-3570.