Skip to main content

Suicide prevention

Suicide prevention

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.

Zero Suicide alliance training - University student suicide awareness training

The Zero Suicide Alliance recently launched a new edition of its training which aims to help students/staff develop the skills to recognise someone who may be struggling, approach difficult conversations effectively and access further support. It will be a hugely valuable tool for individuals as well as family and friends who may be worried about them.

Real Talk suicide prevention training - The Real Talk Interactive Film - Grassroots Suicide Prevention

Real Talk About Suicide is an interactive film which helps guide the viewer, as they make choices to support someone with suicidal thoughts and behaviours. The film presents an unfolding conversation between two flatmates, Chris and Jason. The viewer is prompted to answer multiple-choice questions about the next steps Jason might take to help his friend. Guidance is offered, and key principles explained, with the aim of increasing the skills and confidence of the viewer in responding to people at risk of suicide, and to provide links to further sources of support.

Enhanced suicide awareness training for staff and students

Further to the free online suicide awareness training available we realise that enhanced training may be required for staff and students holding specific roles, particularly for clinical and ‘frontline’ staff.

If you would like any further details on these training options please contact Mark Sawyer, Head of Wellbeing and Welfare Services