Supporting students in distress: The role of faculty and staff at UW-Madison

Suicide is a known health concern for college students on all campuses nationwide. As members of our campus community, you have regular interaction with students and your actions contribute to their academic and personal success. Statistically speaking, it is highly likely that you will work with a student at some point that is at risk for psychological distress. Knowing what to do in these situations is an important part of suicide prevention on campus.

We would like to remind you of At-Risk for University Faculty & Staff. At-Risk is a UHS sponsored online, interactive program that builds skills in interacting effectively with students in distress. We encourage all faculty and staff to complete this 40-minute training designed to help you:

1. Recognize students experiencing high levels of distress
2. Respond to students and determine the need for referral
3. Refer the student to campus or local resources and services available

At-Risk will remain available online and can be revisited any number of times. The program is applicable to all UW-Madison faculty, staff, instructors, teaching assistants, and student leaders. Building capacity to respond to students in a helpful way is an evidence-based strategy that is an important part of a multi-faceted suicide prevention approach.

To access the At-Risk training program, please follow these instructions:
* Click Link:
* Click “Access Training”
* Fill out form using enrollment key: wisc608
* Note: No identifying information is linked with responses in the program.

Please share this information with colleagues. Completing this training and acting with the resulting knowledge will improve our campus climate around mental health and contribute to the success of your students. If you have questions, please contact Valerie Kowis at You can also visit the Umatter Suicide Prevention website at for more information.


Steven M. Cramer, PhD, PE
Vice-Provost for Teaching and Learning and Professor

Danielle R. Oakley, PhD
Director, Mental Health Services and Clinical Professor