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Further support

I'm feeling suicidal / I'm worried about someone who might be suicidal.

If you can't find what you're looking for here or in our Index, or have any questions please email usThe Occupational Health team can also help you with expert confidential advice and support.

Spectrum Life is our Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) which is a confidential, neutral service provided by an external company to support colleagues at the University, including free counselling. 

Suicide - awareness and support

Suicide support

If you’re having thoughts about ending your life, please tell someone.

  • Help and support is available for you right now - 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Reach out, as there are people ready to support you - you don’t have to struggle alone.


  • If you you are thinking of ending your life or have seriously harmed yourself in some way, dial 999 and ask for the Ambulance Service or ask someone else to do this for you. Alternatively go to your nearest Accident and Emergency Department.
  • You can find your local Urgent Mental Health Line by visiting the NHS websiteThe First Response Service (FRS) puts you and your mental health first, providing a service seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Free, 24/7 text/email/forum/call support:

  • Samaritans: 24 hr helpline offering emotional support for people who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those which may lead to suicide. Helpline: 116 123 (free of charge from a landline or mobile) or email: for a reply within 24hrs.
  • SHOUT: text 85258 for 24/7 text support from a crisis volunteer.
  • Breaking The Silence SF: a website for suicidal people and those in mental health crisis. They provide online forums, chat, information and support.

In an emergency: Call 999 or take them to A&E and stay with them until they are seen by a member of the mental health team.

  • This leaflet provides information about what to do if you are worried about someone. This guidance was developed at the University of Exeter Medical School, in collaboration with The Alliance of Suicide Prevention Charities (TASC), and produced by Devon County Council.
  • Remember – it is safe to talk about suicide with someone if they seem really down and you think they might be thinking about ending their life.

If in doubt, follow the ALGEE steps:

  • A – ASSESS for risk of suicide or harm. Call 999 if there is an immediate risk.
  • L – LISTEN non-judgmentally. 
  • G – GIVE information and encouragement. 
  • E – ENCOURAGE professional help. 
  • E – ENCOURAGE self help or other support.

Although we can play an important role in helping people, we must remember we are not responsible for the actions of somebody who is suicidal.

We believe that we can all make a difference to the wellbeing of our students and colleagues and work towards keeping those in our community safe. However, although we can play an important role in helping people, we must remember we are not responsible for the actions of somebody who is suicidal.

The University has developed this training programme as part of a community approach to mental health and suicide safety. 

There are four levels to the training:

  • Level 1 training is available now for all colleagues to complete. This helps raise awareness and provide an introductory understanding of the skills needed to talk to anyone (students or staff) who may be at risk of suicide.
  • Level 2 is available now for colleagues who have a student-facing role.
  • Level 3 will be a 2-day Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England course for those colleagues with line management approval to become Mental Health First Aiders® student support. Further information will be provided when the course is available.
  • Level 4 will be suicide awareness and risk screening for colleagues that have roles that require training to this depth (for example colleagues working in Wellbeing Services)

The training is run by Student Wellbeing. If you have any queries about this training please contact Joanna Blakely or Rachel Bragg

Losing a loved one, friend or colleague through suicide is incredibly hard. If this has happened to you, please don’t feel you have to suffer alone – there are organisations out there for you. Often survivors feel guilty, or even angry, and can be reluctant to talk about what has happened. If this is how you feel, remember you aren’t alone and - very sadly – there will be others who are experiencing similar thoughts to yours.

We really urge you to reach out and talk to those who can help you:

  • Spectrum Life is our Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) which is a confidential, neutral service provided by an external company to support colleagues at the University. They provide free counselling for colleagues. 
  • If you are experiencing anxiety or depression it can help to talk to your manager who can refer you to Occupational Health for support. Alternatively, you can make a self-referral direct to the Occupational Health Team. 
  • The Access to Work Mental Health Support - a confidential service delivered by Remploy funded by the Department of Works and Pensions is available at no charge to any employees with depression, anxiety, stress or other mental health issues affecting their work.
  • NHS Talking Therapies (previously called IAPT)- free NHS support you can refer yourself directly to for talking therapies, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), counselling, other therapies and guided self-help. 
  • Taking good care of ourselves can really help us to stay mentally well. Take a look at the ‘Self-care and staying well’ section for resources and advice.

The University of Exeter is committed to creating a suicide-safer community for its students and staff, as illustrated by the institution’s suicide-safe strategy and implementation plan. Raising awareness of risk warning signs, alongside training in risk assessment for key student-facing staff, is therefore an important tool in suicide prevention. Understanding the reasons behind suicidal behaviour is complex and the individual circumstances which may lead to suicidal intent vary considerably.  However, the impact of suicide on family, friends and the community is always profoundly devastating – and the more the University can do to raise awareness of the warning signs the more we may be able to prevent loss of life and suffering for those left behind. 

Most people who are suicidal do not want to die but can see no other option to resolving their pain; however, a zero-suicide ethos starts from the position that most deaths by suicide are preventable, and the more we can equip the community to understand and spot warning signs, the safer will our community become. Our priority is to offer all staff and students basic awareness training so that our community is equipped to support anyone around them who may be troubled be thoughts of suicide. The rationale for greater awareness rests on the notion that we can directly impact the safety of both staff and students through a conscious recognition of the risk posed by suicide.  The progression from awareness to knowledge to basic ‘helping skills’ subsequently equips individuals with the competence and confidence to respond effectively when concerns arise.

Video: It's important to talk about mental health - Pimblett