If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, help is available.
Cornell resources (24/7)
Cornell Health: 607-255-5155 (when we’re closed, you will be connected with an on-call mental health professional who can provide consultation and make referrals to other Cornell and Ithaca resources )
Suicide hotlines (24/7)
Text / chat services
National Crisis Text Line (24/7): Text HELLO to 741741 to connect with a trained crisis counselor
The Steve Fund text line (24/7): Text STEVE to 741741 (for young people of color)
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What to do if you feel suicidal
If you are contemplating suicide – or thinking about harming yourself – please reach out for support. You are not alone, and help is available. Things can get better.
If you’re in crisis, contact one of the resources listed above, or go to your local hospital emergency department.
For ongoing support, please schedule an appointment with a Cornell Health counselor as soon as possible. For urgent concerns, call us 24/7 at 607-255-5155 (press 1 during business hours) to be seen right away.
You can also talk to a trusted friend or family member, connect with a trained peer counselor through Cornell's EARS program, or contact any of the resources listed on Cornell’s Caring Community website.
Suicidal thoughts, like all thoughts, are temporary. Suicide is permanent.
Depression and other mental health challenges can distort your perspective and make things seem worse than they truly are – or make you believe that you’ll never feel good again. But the pain or challenges you feel now will not last forever. Help is available. And help works.
Suicidal thinking can be treated. Depression has excellent recovery rates, as do many other mental illnesses. Know that you are not alone: there are numerous people and resources in our caring community who are here for you and who can help you feel better.
How to help someone else
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Suicide at Cornell
Suicide is the second leading cause of death among teens and young adults. Although suicide is somewhat less common among college students than among young adults who are not enrolled in college, recent studies show that college student depression and anxiety are at all-time highs. Left untreated, these mental health issues (among others) can lead to suicidal thinking.
At Cornell, student survey data illustrate the need for continued and sustained mental health promotion services and support for students in distress. According to the most recent Cornell PULSE (Perceptions of Undergraduate Life and Student Experiences) Survey of undergraduate students:
- 42.9% of survey respondents reported being unable to function academically (e.g., missing classes, unable to study or complete homework) for at least a week due to depression, stress or anxiety at least once during the last year.
- 11.8% of survey respondents reported having seriously considered attempting suicide at least once during the last year.
- 2.1% of survey respondents reported having actually attempted suicide at least once in the last year.
Historically, the average incidence of suicide at Cornell has been consistent with national averages; but Cornell has never been resigned to being "average" in this measure. Mental health needs and concerns have increased on college campuses over the past several decades. During the same time frame, the university has dedicated more resources and services toward mental health promotion, mental health care, and suicide prevention.
Cornell has been recognized for its proactive response to a suicide cluster that occurred on campus in 2009. As part of its comprehensive approach to suicide prevention, Cornell implemented a means restriction project compatible with the unique and beautiful topography of the campus. In partnership with the City of Ithaca, Cornell installed steel mesh netting below seven bridges that cross deep campus gorges, as well as protective fencing at various locations along the gorges.
Learn more about our suicide prevention work on our Mental Health Initiatives page.
Reporting on suicide
Suicide is a public health issue. Media coverage of suicide can influence the public’s behavior – either negatively by contributing to a “contagion factor,” or positively by encouraging help-seeking. It is imperative that the media follow the reporting guidelines established by media and suicide-prevention experts. Please visit our Media Inquiries page for details.