Suicidal behavior is a substantial public health issue faced by college campuses. College counseling professionals often interact with a variety of other student affairs professionals who may be involved in the management of suicidality on campus. However, research on their experiences and perspectives on this topic is scarce. In this study, we build on literature related to management of suicidality on campus, which is predominantly focused on campus counseling professionals. Fifteen semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with student affairs professionals to explore how professionals on campuses might better work together to prevent crises and support students at elevated risk for suicide. Recurrent and emerging themes included barriers impeding their ability to best serve suicidal students, their perceptions on what factors make students vulnerable to suicide, and suggestions for future research. We conclude with a discussion of options to increase quantity and quality of service provision on campus for suicidal students.


College Students, Student Affairs, Suicide, Qualitative Interviews

Author Bio(s)

Carla D. Chugani, PhD, LPC is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh, Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA. Please direct correspondence to carla.chugani@chp.edu.

Gabriel Kass, BA is an incoming graduate student in the Master of Mental Health Counseling program at Chatham University, Pittsburgh, PA. Gabriel Kass Please direct correspondence to gkass@udel.edu.

Elizabeth Miller, MD, PhD is a Professor of Pediatrics, Public Health, and Clinical and Translational Science at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and Director of the Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine, UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA. Please direct correspondence to elizabeth.miller@chp.edu.


Funding Disclosures: Dr. Chugani was supported by an NSRA training grant during the conduct of this research (T32HD087162, PI: Miller). This research was supported by a grant from the Fine Foundation (PI: Chugani)

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.





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