Handling Urgent Situations

The problem is urgent if:


The student is actively talking about suicide

The student is very distressed or in psychological distress

The student tells you they have taken an overdose

You think that the student is likely to hurt her/himself or others

What do I do?

  • Move the student to a quiet and safe place, if possible 

  • Enlist the help of someone else so the student isn’t left alone, and you aren’t left alone with the student. If the incident occurs out of office hours call ------------ and ask them to help locate a senior member of staff

  • If the student is willing, arrange for them to go to the nearest Accident and Emergency Department. Telephone 999 and explain the situation. N.B. In such cases you do not need the student’s consent

  • If the student is very disturbed, dangerous, or uncooperative and you are on campus call ---------- and ask them to call the police. The police can arrange for an ambulance if necessary. If you are not on campus, call the police yourself.

  • Stay with her/him until the ambulance arrives and you are able to hand over to paramedics. It is not necessary for you to accompany the student in the ambulance to hospital

  • Make a written note of key points and action taken using the form in Appendix B

  • Speak with your line manager about your concerns and your actions as soon as possible

  • Contact the Counselling Service Manager to arrange a debriefing session and handover written notes so that follow-up support can be initiated. If the incident occurs out of office hours follow up with them as a priority.


Charlie Waller Memorial Trust
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32 High Street
Thatcham, Berkshire

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