Suicide

Suicide phone hotlines (24/7)

Text / chat services

Cornell resources (24/7)

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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.  

Remember ...

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

In an emergency, call the Cornell Police at 607-255-1111.

You can also call us at 607-255-5155 for 24/7 assistance (when we’re closed, our answering service will connect you with an on-call health care provider within 30 minutes).

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Suicide at Cornell

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among teens and young adults. Although suicide is slightly less common among college students than among young adults who are not enrolled in college, recent studies show that 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:

  • 33% 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.
  • 9% of survey respondents reported having seriously considered attempting suicide at least once during the last year.
  • 1.7% of survey respondents reported having actually attempted suicide at least once in the last year.

Historically, the number of suicides at Cornell has been consistent with national averages. As mental health concerns have increased on college campuses over the past several decades, Cornell has dedicated more resources and services toward student mental health and suicide prevention. For example, after a suicide cluster occurred on campus in 2009, Cornell implemented an important means restriction project to install fences along, and then netting below, seven bridges on campus. 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.