Suicide Prevention

The Colby College Protocol for Safeguarding Students at Risk for Suicide provides clear guidelines for how members of the Colby community should respond when they have reason to believe a student is suicidal.

Please see below for the general procedure for faculty, staff, and students, as well as the specific departmental procedures for Athletics, Campus Life, Campus Security, and Off-Campus Study.

General Procedure for Faculty, Staff, and Students

These steps outlined below are designed to assist members of the faculty, staff, and student body when they believe a student may be at risk for suicide.


If:

  • You are with a student and they disclose to you that they are experiencing suicidal thoughts.

Then:

  • It is imperative that you connect that student immediately with a mental health professional who can assess the level of concern and make a plan for ensuring their safety. Do not leave the student alone until cleared to do so by a counselor.
  • During Counseling Services regular business hours, Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-noon and 1-5 p.m., you may walk the student over to the office in Garrison-Foster 205 or call 207-859-4490 to connect the student with a counselor.
  • When the Counseling Services office is closed, you can reach the counselor on call by calling the office at 207-859-4490 and pressing “0.” The counselor will conduct an assessment over the phone, determine an appropriate plan of action, and be responsible for helping to carry that plan forward.
  • If the student refuses to speak with a counselor, then it remains imperative that you reach out yourself in that moment for consultation with a counselor by calling 207-859-4490. If after hours, call the same number and press “0.” The counselor will help with determining a plan of action from there.

If:

  • You are with a student and they have not explicitly disclosed having suicidal thoughts, but you have reason to believe they may be at risk for suicide based on their behaviors, statements, and/or information shared from other sources.

Then:

  • Ask the student if they are currently experiencing suicidal thoughts or have recently experienced suicidal thoughts.
  • If they answer “yes,” follow the above procedures for connecting them with a counselor for assessment. Do not leave the student alone until cleared to do so by a counselor.
  • If they answer “no,” having them check in with a counselor at that time is still strongly encouraged based on your existing concerns. If they are not agreeable to checking in with a counselor, it remains imperative that you reach out yourself for consultation with a counselor.
  • Once you have shared your concerns with the counselor, they will determine if further action is necessary and be responsible for helping to carry any plans forward. This call to the counselor should be done immediately following your conversation with the student of concern.

If:

  • You are not with the student of concern, but observed or were given information that indicates that they may be at risk for suicide.

Then:

  • Contact the Counseling Services office immediately at 207-859-4490 to speak with a counselor about your concerns.
  • If it is outside of regular business hours, call the same number and press “0” to be connected with the counselor on call.
  • Once you have shared your concerns with the counselor, they will determine if further action is necessary and be responsible for helping to carry any plans forward.

If:

  • You are aware that a student has already taken steps to inflict serious harm on themselves through ingestion of substances or other means, or they are in immediate danger under any other circumstances.

Then:

  • Call 207-859-5911 immediately to be connected to Campus Security to report the incident.
  • Campus Security will immediately notify the appropriate authorities and provide assistance.

Specific Procedures

In addition to the general procedures, the protocol also outlines specific departmental procedures for staff and students in Athletics, Campus Life, and Off-Campus Study, as well as staff procedures for members of Campus Security.

If you are a student or staff member affiliated with any of those departments or programs, please click to view your specific procedures. Your Colby username and password are required to view.

A Community Effort

The prevention of suicide requires the participation of every member of our campus community. All students, faculty, and staff of Colby College must be familiar with the preliminary steps involved in connecting a student of concern with a trained professional.

Educating our community about the warning signs associated with suicide and equipping them to respond effectively are core to Colby’s prevention programming efforts. Everyone is an ally in preventing loss of life and in establishing a safe campus environment.