Student Mental Health & Suicide Prevention Plan
Our Promise: Bucks Cares
Bucks County Community College is committed to the promise that we will provide all students with comprehensive and innovative support personalized to their unique needs, challenges, and preferences. As we strive to support students to achieve their goals through a culture of care, we recognize student mental health plays a vital role. Every member of our campus has many obligations, roles and relationships that may be a source of support but may also cause stress.
It is important to us that resources and information are available to you, to support your mental health and wellbeing. If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, there are many options for immediate support. This website provides information not only for you, but also for your friends and family. Please take a look now to familiarize yourself with these resources so you know where to go if they are needed.
At Bucks County Community College, our goal is to support you in your academic progress and professional pursuits. We want to see you excel in your studies and achieve your dreams. In order to help you to maximize the value of your education and assist you on your journey, we are here to help you in any way we can.
National and Local Resources
Distress related to mental health concerns, suicidal thoughts, attempts to die by suicide and completed suicides are an unfortunate but very real experience for students at Bucks. The resources listed below can assist those who are struggling with suicide or know someone who might be at risk of suicidal behavior.
Local Resources for Suicide Prevention
- Bucks Counseling Services
- Counseling is available on all Bucks campuses. Students may connect with a counselor face-to-face, by telephone, or email. To schedule an appointment to meet with a counselor call 215-968-8189, email firstname.lastname@example.org or stop by the Student Services area at your Bucks campus. You can also visit our website at www.bucks.edu/counseling
- Bucks Security and Safety
- An office staffed by trained officers who patrol campus buildings and grounds on a 24-hour-daily basis provides security and safety to the College community. Security and Safety officers render services that include motor vehicle registration and assistance, traffic control, routine campus-wide safety checks and emergency assistance, as well as acting as sources for directional and general information. The Office of Security and Safety is located in Cottage IV and can be contacted by phone at (215) 968-8911 or email at email@example.com. You can also visit their website at www.bucks.edu/resources/security/
- Lenape Valley Crisis Services
- Lenape Valley Foundation Crisis Services are available to all residents of Bucks County, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To access services, individuals can call the numbers listed below or can walk into the emergency rooms at Doylestown Hospital or Lower Bucks Hospital. When walking in, ask for Lenape Valley Foundation at the reception desk. You will meet with a Crisis Professional who will complete an assessment determining the level of service that would best benefit you. The Crisis Professional will facilitate the referrals that are needed. If you are seeking assistance for someone else in crisis, they can facilitate involuntary commitments when there are no other options.
- If you are unable to come in for service, you can call 215-785-9765 and discuss if a visit from the mobile crisis team would be beneficial. You can also visit www.lenapevf.org/crisis-services/
To find a therapist in your area:
National Resources for Suicide Prevention
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: suicidepreventionlifeline.org, 1-800-273-8255, available 24 hours a day/7 days a week. Starting July 16, 2022, you can now call 988 for immediate help!
- Crisis Text Line: crisistextline.org, text HOME to 741741 at any time, for any type of crisis. If you're a person of color who is experiencing a crisis, you can also text STEVE to 741741 to connect with a trained crisis counselor of color.
- NAMI: https://www.nami.org/find-support/nami-helpline
- Mental Health Screener
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
- JED Foundation Mental Health Resource Center
Faculty and Staff Employee Resources
For staff and faculty affected by mental health concerns, the Employee Assistance Program (EAP+Work/Life) is a comprehensive program available to benefits eligible faculty and staff. Your EAP+Work/Life benefit gives you confidential access to a Licensed Professional Counselor or Work/Life Specialist, who can provide short-term assistance with the temporary setbacks in life.
Get help 24/7 with personal, family and work issues such as:
- Grief, loss
- Relationship issues
- Job stress
- Work/life balance
- New baby
- Financial and legal issues
- Identity theft
- Eating disorders
- Mental illness
In a crisis, emergency help is available 24/7
Employee Assistance Program
Your EAP+Work/Life benefit gives you confidential access to a Licensed Professional Counselor or Work/Life Specialist, who can provide short-term assistance with the temporary setbacks in life.
Counseling Services at Bucks
It can be challenging to make important decisions about your education, career, and life. You may be wondering how to choose your major, make a career change, or balance your personal and academic responsibilities. Student Services Counselors can assist. We offer a variety of services to assist you with decision making, goal setting, and problem-solving when personal issues interfere with academic pursuits.
How to Connect with a Bucks Counselor
Counseling is available on all Bucks campuses. Students may connect with a counselor face-to-face, by telephone, or by email. To schedule an appointment to meet with a counselor, call 215-968-8189, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or stop by the Student Services area at your Bucks campus.
*In case of an emergency contact our Office of Security and Safety 24/7 at 215-968-8911*
We recognize that there may be times when you need to talk with someone, particularly if personal issues or responsibilities are interfering with your academic success. We provide counseling support to help you work through personal challenges that may get in the way of your academic progress. We can also refer you to appropriate community resources if you are seeking long-term counseling support or need additional assistance. We offer one-on-one counseling, web-based counseling tips, and mental health information and resources to promote wellness while you pursue your academic goals.
Crisis services are provided primarily for urgent mental health situations. If your concern is not urgent, we ask that you contact the office during regular business hours to speak with a counselor and/or schedule an appointment. You can email email@example.com or call 215-968-8081.
When a crisis is primarily a mental health concern, please consider the following options:
- Call 215-968-8139 or walk to the Student Services Center and let the front desk staff member know it is an emergency.
- After business hours, dial Bucks Security & Safety at 215-968-8911 or 215-968-8395.
- Dial 911.
- Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255 or visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
- Text the Crisis Text Line (crisistextline.org): Text HOME to 741741 at any time, for any type of crisis. If you’re a person of color who is experiencing a crisis, you can also text STEVE to 741741 to connect with a trained crisis counselor of color.
- Contact Lenape Valley Mobile Crisis (a local community agency providing 24-hour crisis intervention) at 1-800-222-9016.
- Go to the emergency room of Lower Bucks Acute Care Center (Lower Bucks Hospital, 499 Bath Road, Bristol, PA 19007, 215-785-9765) or Central Bucks Crisis (Doylestown Hospital, 595 W. State Street, Doylestown, PA 18901, 215-345-2273).
When you have a question regarding the college or your academic life and don't know where to find the answer, Counseling Services can help. Counselors can explain college academic policies and student responsibilities, and we can let you know about important dates and registration procedures.
At times, students may prefer to work with a counselor in the surrounding community or may need more intensive care to address their mental/behavioral health needs. Our staff can help students to find a counselor in the Bucks County area or in the surrounding community. For Assistive and Support Services in Bucks County, please view the Bucks County Resource Directory.
OUTREACH AND CONSULTATION
Counseling Services works with students, staff and faculty throughout the year to provide support and training on how to identify and support students in distress. Please contact the Counseling Services if you are interested in learning more about how we might partner to create a safer community.
DRUG AND ALCOHOL USE SERVICES
Bucks County Community College is committed to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's goal of having a proactive response to the public health crisis of opioid abuse. We believe that it is possible to prevent substance use disorders, increase access to treatment, and rescue those in need to create healthier communities. The PA Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs has a host of resources that are available for you. Visit their website for more information.
Warning Signs and Risk Factors of Suicide
Warning signs of suicide are indicators that a person may be in acute danger and may urgently need help. Warning sides for suicide include:
- Talking about suicide, wanting to die, or killing oneself
- Looking for a way to kill oneself, such as searching online or buying a gun
- Talking about feeling worthless, hopeless, or having no reason to live
- Talking about being a burden to others
- Seeming suddenly happier and calmer, especially after a period of depression or sadness
- Giving away prized possessions
- Getting affairs in order, making arrangements
- Increasing alcohol or drug use
- Preoccupation with death
- Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly.
- Sleeping too little or too much.
- Withdrawing from or changing social connections/situations
- Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.
- Displaying extreme mood swings.
- Anger or hostility that seems out of character or out of context
- Recent increased agitation or irritability
Risk factors are characteristics of a person or his or her environment that increase the likelihood that he or she will die by suicide (i.e., suicide risk). Major risk factors for suicide include:
- Diagnosis of Depression
- Previous suicide attempt
- Family history of suicide
- Loss of job, home, money
- Death or terminal illness of a loved one
- Divorce or loss of major, significant relationship
- Loss of health, either real or imagined
- Someone close to the person has completed suicide
- Recent disappointment or rejection
- Being expelled from school/fired from job
- Sudden loss of freedom/fear of punishment
- Victim of assault or bullying
- Questioning gender
To read more about identifying a friend in distress and risk factors and warning signs of suicide, visit https://www.preventsuicidepa.org
Postvention and Communication Plan
Within the first month of the fall and spring semesters, all students will receive an email from the Office of the Associate Dean for Student Success and Retention, with information about academic and mental health support resources. Bucks County Community College maintains an emergency crisis communication plan that details the steps that staff will take in the event of any campus emergency. This plan includes a process for communicating with students, staff, and parents in the event of such an emergency.
In the event of a confirmed suicide of a student, faculty member or staff member, the College will make support services readily available and will communicate directly with students, faculty, and staff. The Office of the President will work in conjunction with Bucks Marketing, Public Relations, and Creative Services, to share information to the extent possible.