Depression and suicide are serious public health problems that cause immeasurable pain, suffering and loss to individuals, families and communities nationwide. Davis & Elkins College is committed to working with its state and federal partners, public and private organizations, community partners and others to provide the assistance and prevention resources needed.
West Virginia House Bill 2535, or “Jamie’s Law,” was passed during the 2015 Regular Legislative Session. Jamie’s Law requires public middle and high school administrators to disseminate and provide opportunities to discuss suicide prevention awareness information to all middle and high school students; requires each public and private institution of higher education to develop and implement a policy to advise students and staff on suicide prevention programs available on and off campus; requires each public and private institution of higher education to provide all incoming students with information about depression and suicide prevention resources available to students; requires the posting of certain information on the website of the public and private institutions of higher education, the Higher Education Policy Commission and the Council for Community and Technical College Education; and requires the Bureau for Behavioral Health and Health Facilities to post on its website suicide prevention awareness information.
Depression is a debilitating mental illness that can cause an individual to feel persistently sad or hopeless, experience decreased energy, lose interest in activities he or she used to enjoy, feel irritable, experience difficulties with sleep, have trouble concentrating, experience changes in appetite, and/or feel unexplained aches and pains. In some cases, individuals may think about death or suicide.
These warning signs may indicate that someone is thinking about suicide:
- They talk about wanting to die or wanting to kill themselves.
- They look for ways or means to kill themselves, such as searching online.
- They are isolating themselves or withdrawing from others.
- They are sleeping too much or too little.
- They say they feel “hopeless” or that they have “no reason to live.”
- They say they feel “stuck,” “trapped” or “in unbearable pain.”
- They say that they feel like they are a burden to others.
- They are behaving more recklessly or engaging in more risk-taking behaviors.
- They are using an increased amount of alcohol or drugs.
- They demonstrate unusual changes in mood or behavior.
- They are act anxious, irritable or aggressively.
- They are giving away important or treasured possessions.
- They are visiting, calling, or writing messages to people to say goodbye.
If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, is in crisis or is seeking mental health or substance abuse treatment, below are resources that are available to help.
In an emergency, go to the nearest emergency room or call 911 for immediate assistance. You can also access the following resources 24/7:
- Davis & Elkins College Office of Public Safety: 304-704-9111 (on call 24/7)
- Appalachian Community Health Center Crisis Line: 304-636-3232
- United Summit Center Crisis Line: 1-800-786-6480
- Women’s Aid in Crisis Hotline: 1-800-339-1185
- Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
- Online Chat: www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org
- Text START to 741-741
- Help4WV Helpline: 1-844-435-7498
Counseling and Wellness Services
Students can schedule an appointment with a professionally credentialed counselor by calling Counseling and Wellness Services at 304-637-1363. All conversations with professionally credentialed counselors are confidential.
In the case of an emergency or crisis after hours, students may contact the D&E Office of Public Safety at 304-704-9111. Students can also call 911, report to the Davis Medical Center Emergency Department, contact Appalachian Community Health Center on call 24/7 at 304-636-3232 or contact Women's Aid in Crisis at 304-636-8433 or 24/7 at 1-800-339-1185. In addition, the Elkins Police Department may be contacted at 911.
Counseling through D&E Counseling and Wellness Services is free to the College's students. The counselor can also provide information for local counselors, psychologists and/or psychiatrists to both students and the College faculty and staff.
Referrals may be made to Counseling and Wellness Services at 304-637-1363 by faculty, staff, parents and students if there are concerns about a student. They may also call the enrollment coordinator at 304-637-1983 or email their concern via the website (click here for the At-Risk Student Reporting Form) to the enrollment coordinator and he/she or another appropriate staff member will attempt to make contact with the student to offer support. Please note that unless the student consents, the Office of Student Life will not be able to share information about the student with the person making the referral. See the College Student of Concern Policy for additional information.
The content of the meetings with a professionally credentialed counselor will be kept confidential. Information shared will not be given to individuals without the student’s knowledge and written permission. There are some exceptions arising from ethical and legal requirements such as imminent harm to a student or someone else (including child abuse or elder abuse) and certain legal situations, which require disclosure. These limitations will be discussed at the first appointment. Also see the College’s Gender-Based Discrimination, Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Policy and Code of Conduct for additional information regarding confidentiality issues involving sexual offense incidents. NOTE: The College counselors are not considered to be “campus security authorities” and are, therefore, not required to report crimes for inclusion into the College’s annual disclosure of crime statistics without the client’s express consent. They may, however, inform victims of crime that they are counseling of the College’s procedures to report crimes on a voluntary, anonymous basis for inclusion into the College’s annual crime statistics.
Campus and Local Resources
Below is a list of additional campus and local resources that you can contact for support:
- D&E Office of Public Safety: 304-704-9111 (on call 24/7)
- D&E Counseling and Wellness Services: 304-637-1363
- D&E Student Health Services: 304-637-1234
- Davis Medical Center: 304-636-3300
- Appalachian Community Health Center: 304-636-3232 (on call 24/7)
- United Summit Center: 304-623-5661
- Women's Aid in Crisis: 304-636-8433
- Life Reflections Counseling: 304-637-1002
- Arbor Community Health Center: 304-636-0133
Students can also talk with a member of the Office of Student Life staff at any time by calling 304-637-1211. They are available to listen and help guide students through the many challenges of college life. Please note, however, that Office of Student Life staff, with the exception of the College chaplain and professionally credentialed campus nurse and psychologists/counselors, are required to report incidents of sexual misconduct, including sexual offenses, to the College’s Title IX coordinator. Moreover, as a “Campus Security Authority,” Office of Student Life staff are also required to report incidents of certain crimes to the Office of Public Safety for inclusion in the College’s campus crime statistics.
The College is committed to supporting student well-being and to maintaining continuity of its educational mission at all times. In that regard, the College provides a procedure for the referral, evaluation and appropriate disposition of students of concern. Faculty, staff and students at all levels of the College may identify students of concern, including students displaying disruptive behavior, and bring them to the attention of the Office of Student Life, where the Vice President for Student Affairs has the prerogative to convene the Care Team. They may submit their concern online (click here for the At-Risk Student Reporting Form) and we will attempt to make contact with the student to offer support.
More information about the Care Team behavioral assessment, terms and definitions, goals, procedures, and case and policy review can be found in the Student Handbook.
Free Mobile Applications
There are also a number of free mobile applications that are available to promote mental health and wellness and prevent suicide that include:
- Virtual Hope Box
State and National Resources
- www.thetrevorproject.org (LGBTQ)
- Ask the Question Video
- Train - Give It All Video