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You can learn more about the services being offered at the CSDC by visiting our website at

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 BucknellWe believe that there are many things that can be done to protect someone from being at risk of suicide. One of first steps to preventing deaths is creating a community that is a) aware of signs that a person may be considering suicide, and b) able to take next steps to help a person at risk. The more Bucknellians who have this training, the greater the chance that a student at risk will get the help they need when they most need it.  

As a student, you may find yourself concerned with the behavior, emotional concerns or demeanor of a friend. In the meantime, remember:

  • Listening to and putting yourself in the shoes of the friend about whom you are concerned can help them feel understood and cared about.
  • If you want to explain to a friend why you are concerned, be as specific as you can. Being direct is also advisable; attempting to deceive or trick someone into getting help is unwise.
  • Change often happens in stages. When you encourage a friend to go to counseling, you plant a seed for change that may not take hold right away. Keep in mind that when you suggest counseling to a friend they may not be ready to take in this suggestion and might even be offended or disregard it. If this happens, it can be helpful to remind your friend that you’re there for them if they need help. Sometimes people aren’t ready to accept help right away but will remember that you’re available for support when they’re ready.
  • If you feel that getting someone to help is essential, you may consult with a counselor at the CSDC.  

The following are indications that a student may be experiencing significant emotional distress:

  • Noticeable change in personality
  • Frequent crying
  • Dramatic weight loss or gain
  • Social withdrawal
  • Alcohol and/or other drug use or abuse
  • Odd behavior, peculiar speech
  • Deterioration in personal hygiene
  • Direct or indirect reference to suicide, preoccupation with death and morbid subjects
  • Failure to attend class or do assigned work
  • Frequent requests for attention, highly dependent behavior
  • Compulsive behaviors
  • Unruly, abusive behavior; ongoing anger; vandalism
  • Listless, lethargic, “depressed” appearance
  • High-risk sexual behavior
  • Self-injurious behavior (e.g., cutting, burning)
  • Hopelessness

Here’s how you can help build a suicide-safer community.

Complete an online module, which should take ~40 minutes. You will learn about the signs that a person may be in distress and considering suicide. The goal is to increase your comfort level and confidence in taking steps to help a person at risk. 

Before attempting to access the module ensure 1) that you are already logged into MyBucknell and 2) have confirmed that your device meets the system requirements. You may access the Kognito module on a computer or mobile device (

If you need to pause while completing the training, when you log back in again, choose RESUME and it will return your most recent training check point. When you complete the module, please save a copy of the Certificate of Completion should someone need to see that you have completed it this year.

If you have already completed the training and it has been over a year, please select the option “Need to Recertify?” (not ‘Re-Launch’) and select “Reset Course.” This will allow you to go through the module again and receive an updated date Certificate of Completion. Refreshing your memory with the knowledge and skills is an important part of building a safer community.

If you encounter technical issues accessing the module, please first contact for assistance. If you have any other questions or concerns, please contact Dr. Kelly Shaw at the CSDC ( or 570-577-1604).

Making a Referral 

If you believe that a student would benefit from talking with a counselor, there are a number of things that you can do to make a referral:

  • Suggest that the student take a look at the Counseling & Student Development Center web page.
  • Remind the student that conversations with counselors are confidential.
  • Offer to make the call with the student to set up an appointment.
  • Remind the student that our services are free to Bucknell students.
  • If you have ever benefited from talking with a counselor, and you are comfortable with this sort of self-disclosure, share your experience with the student.
  • It may also be helpful to remind the student that in an after-hours emergency they can reach the on-call counselor by dialing 570-577-1604 and choosing Option 2.

If you believe that the situation is urgent, you may want to:

  • Suggest that the student accompany you to our office — no appointment is necessary in an emergency.
  • Follow up with the student and ask about their visit to our office.
  • Call our office to consult with one of our counselor

Want to learn more? Go BEYOND KOGNITO and explore our other supporting resources.

Know the Statistics
* Suicide is the second-leading cause of death among 15 to 24-year-olds.
* More teenagers and young adults die from suicide than from all medical illnesses combined.
* The suicide rate peaks among young adults (ages 20-24).
* One in 12 U.S. college students makes a suicide plan.
* Nearly 4,000 people age 15-24 die by suicide each year in the United States.
* There are more than four male suicides for every female suicide, but twice as many females than males attempt suicide.
* During the 2018-2019, 23.8% of the CSDC’s student-clients reported that they had seriously considered attempting suicide in the 30 days prior to their visit.

Go deeper with Beyond Kognito, a presentation to help you learn additional skills and information about supporting others who are struggling.

Learn about the power of Empathy (vs. Sympathy)

If you have questions about these resources or would like information on other general mental health topics, contact us at or submit a request using our Outreach Program Request form.