Questions about this policy should be directed to the Ball State Counseling Center at (765) 285-1736 or the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs/Director of Housing and Residence Life at (765) 285-8011.
In the event that the University is presented with a credible report that a student has threatened or attempted suicide, engaged in efforts to prepare to commit suicide, or expressed a preoccupation with suicide, that student will be required to meet with an authorized university administrator (e.g., Residence Hall Director for an on-campus student or Director of Student Rights and Community Standards/designee for a student living off-campus). The purpose of that meeting will be to review the report and refer the student to attend two required self-harm assessment sessions in the Counseling Center.
Ball State operates with a self-harm protocol, the primary goals of which are to:
assist in responding to at-risk students;
provide them the care/treatment needed to effectively and safely manage their risk; and
succeed in the campus learning/living environment.
The protocol includes procedures for responding to incidents of suicide, suicidal attempts and/or threats, and other self-harm ideation, as well as guidelines for when and how to contact students’ family and/or friends during an emergency.
Immediate Response Protocol
In cases where a student is not responsive, students and university employees shall upon notice call 911 immediately.
In cases where a student has attempted suicide or other serious act of self-harm (e.g., interrupted attempts, rehearsal of suicide), students and university employees shall upon notice call 911 for EMS/police response.
Risk Assessment Protocol
In cases where a student exhibits suicide ideation or other less imminent and urgent self-harm behavior [suicide ideation can range from fleeting thoughts to extensive planning] students and university employees shall assess the situation once notified and take appropriate action. Appropriate action will at a minimum include notifying an employee authorized to implement the remaining protocol and may include calling 911 for EMS/police response or the Counseling Center for assistance. Employees authorized to implement the remaining protocol include:
On-campus students—Residence Hall Directors, Assistant Residence Hall Directors, Resident Managers (University Apartments), Assistant Directors of Housing and Residence Life, their professional supervisors, and Counseling Center professional staff.
Off-campus students—Director and Assistant Director of Student Rights and Community Standards, Associate and Assistant Deans of Student Affairs, their professional supervisors, and Counseling Center professional staff.
The remaining protocol consists of the authorized employee contacting the student after the incident to schedule a meeting to review the report and to conduct a referral to the Counseling Center for a minimum of two required self-harm assessment sessions. A Counseling Center psychologist will conduct the risk assessment and provide a status report to the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Services & Dean of Students or designee.
Contact with Family
The Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Services & Dean of Students or designee is authorized to contact designated emergency contacts or family members directly on behalf of the university in cases involving student death, serious suicide attempts, and hospitalization for emotional distress. Faculty and other employees should not contact family members directly on behalf of the University in these cases.
This policy was last reviewed/modified July 2016.