Suicide Prevention Week

January 22 - 26, 2024

How can we prevent suicide on campus? It can start with asking for help and checking in with others. Whether you are struggling with suicidal thoughts or are wanting to support someone you know, know that you are not alone. Support is available. If you are a community member who wants to support your community on this issue, training is available.

To learn more:

Where Can I Find Support…

With meeting my basic needs?

  • Campus Food Bank: Programming and support that offer free or affordable access to food and food education.
  • Financial Support: Provides assistance to students experiencing financial shortfall for the current school year's academic and basic living costs or a temporary unexpected financial emergency during the academic year
  • Safe House Program: The University of Alberta Safe House Program offers temporary emergency accommodation for current students and their children.
  • 211 Alberta (call or text 211 or visit Alberta-based helpline and online database of community resources.

With feeling more connected?

  • The Landing: A non-profit at the University of Alberta offering support, education, awareness and programming for gender and sexual diversity.
  • Student Group Services BearsDen: The University of Alberta has over 450 unique, student-run organizations and clubs. Check out BearsDen, an online portal that has all groups active at the UofA to find events.
  • Unitea: Students can meet with Unitea hosts for one-to-one and group conversations to meet others and chat about something they are looking forward to, passionate about, worried about, or anything else.

With my academics?

  • Academic Success Centre: Academic support in the areas of learning, communication, writing, and accessibility to help students maximize academic success and achieve their academic goals.
  • Decima Robinson Support Centre: Offers comprehensive support for students taking introductory mathematics and statistics courses.
  • Ombuds: Information, advice, and support to students, faculty, and staff as they deal with academic, discipline, interpersonal, and financial issues related to student programs.

With my mental health?

  • Counselling and Clinical Services: Offers free, confidential services for a range of mental health concerns.
  • Wellness Supports: Free, confidential supportive case management services to students on a one-to-one basis provided by a team of registered social workers.
  • University Health Centre: Provides comprehensive medical care, including assessment and treatment of mental health concerns.
  • Peer Support Centre: Free, confidential, and non-judgmental mental health support from trained student volunteers.

At Augustana Campus?

  • Augustana Food Pantry: Register with the free supplementary non-perishable food hamper offered by the ASA
  • Augustana Student Clubs: Find student groups to join and build connections.
  • Mental Health Supports: Visit Augustana’s mental health supports website to find a resource that fits your needs
  • Academic Supports: Book an appointment with an advisor for academic support, help with developing your skills, and to connect with resources to help achieve your full potential.
  • 211Alberta (call or text 211 or visit Alberta-based helpline and online database of community resources.

At Campus Saint Jean?

  • Ressources pour la réussite académique: La Centrale collabore avec le Success Centre de l'Université de l'Alberta pour vous vous aider à développer les compétences et stratégies nécessaires à votre réussite académique.
  • Bien-être et santé mentale: Les étudiants ont un accès gratuit au services de Mme Josée Ouellette, la Conseillère thérapeutique professionnelle du Campus Saint-Jean
  • Appui à l'employabilité: Nous avons développé 2 volets d'interventions pour soutenir le développement professionnel de nos étudiants et les aider à s'orienter dans leur choix de carrière: des ateliers pratiques et des opportunités de réseautage.
  • 211 Alberta: La ligne d’aide d’Edmonton et les ressources de la communauté.

How to ask for help:

The truth is that asking for help is hard. Where do you go? Who do you talk to? What do you say?

Remember that asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness, and it takes a lot of courage to start this process. Here are some tips that may help you along the way:

  • Consider what kind of help you’re looking for. Would you feel more comfortable in a one-on-one setting or in a group? Are you looking for a therapist or for peer support? Are you looking for a service that aligns with your cultural background? Do you want to remain anonymous? It’s okay to not know what you want. It’s also okay to try one type of support and decide it’s not right for you. Support isn’t one-size-fits-all and sometimes you need to try a few types to know what feels best.
  • Communicate your needs as clearly as you can. When talking with intake workers, you may need to be more assertive and upfront about what’s causing you to seek support. Many of us downplay our own needs or diminish the importance of our feelings, but remember: you deserve support. Be prepared that you may need to wait or talk to a few people before the process gets officially started.
  • Ask questions. If you’re unsure about any part of the process, ask. The service should be able to answer questions about cost, their training, how many sessions you can receive, and what the limits of their services are. For example, it may be useful to know if you will have the same support person if you are to return to the service or if they offer sliding scale payment options.

Unsure where to start?

  • Wellness Supports Social Workers: Free, confidential supportive case management services to students on a one-to-one basis provided by a team of registered social workers.
  • 211 Alberta – Call or text with a 211 support staff, who can help navigate resource options in Alberta. 211 can help in finding support for mental health, finances, basic needs, legal aid, and much more. You can also browse all resource options yourself online.
  • – An interactive wellness tool that highlights some resource options both on and off campus for undergraduate students, narrowed down by topic.
  • How to choose a counsellor - written by the University of Alberta Sexual Assault Centre – this document provides information on the process of finding the right counsellor for you
  • Graduate Student Assistance Program (GSAP) - Counselling services, legal consultations, financial support and information, and other resources for graduate students.

Suicide and intersectionality on Campus

Suicidal ideation is more than personal problems and languishing mental health. Suicidal thoughts can be related to broader systemic issues such as colonialism, racism, sexism, heteronomatism, abelism, classism and other experiences that marginalize people.

Knowing our own intersectionality is a helpful way to understand systemic issues that shape the world that we experience and live in, which directly affects our mental health. Various intersections include but are not limited to: gender, race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, class, ability status, and sexuality. Our personal intersectionalities create our reality, full of challenges and privileges that others may or may not experience and is helpful when thinking through a suicide prevention lens. Acknowledging our own challenges and privileges helps us gain a better understanding of what realities others in our community are facing.

An intersectional lens is essential to suicide prevention. Not only does this increase our empathy and allow us to better connect with others, it also invites us to address the systemic issues that impact mental health.This means advocating for equity, diversity, and inclusion on campus and our larger community.

If you’d like to learn more about intersectionality: