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Removing Suicidal Students From Campus: The Significance Of Recent Changes In Federal Policy


Recorded on: October 16, 2015 (75-90 minutes)

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Description Speaker(s) FAQs

Removing Suicidal Students From Campus: The Significance Of Recent Changes In Federal Policy

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Should suicidal students stay on campus or should they go? If they stay, how should a school address suicidal behavior on campus? If they go, how do you set up support services to decrease risk for a student returning to campus?

The Department of Educationís Office of Civil Rights (OCR) made significant changes in policy that leave colleges and universities in a catch-22 when managing suicidal students on campus or addressing requests for re-entry for students who continue to struggle with active suicidal thoughts. Remove these students from campus through a forced medical withdrawal and face an ADA lawsuit for discrimination against the student. Leave the student on campus struggling with suicidal ideations and be sued for not having the services available to adequately treat the studentís medical condition.

Found under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the revised regulation now deems it unlawful to involuntarily separate, suspend, or expel a student on the basis of self-harmful or suicidal behaviors.

As suicide continues to be a leading cause of death among U.S. college students age 18-24, this new regulation leaves schools and administrators struggling with some important questions regarding both institutional legal risk and student safety:

  • How do you handle a chronically suicidal student who is vocal about his/her intentions?
  • How do you address a student who engages in high-risk eating disorder behavior?
  • How do you work with a student who has had a public overdose attempt and demands to return to school after a hospital stay?
  • How do you address a student who is engaging in cutting and self-mutilation and is discovered by a roommate?
  • How do you deal with a student who presents delusional speech and odd behavior that is disruptive and concerning to other students?
  • How do you handle these potentially dangerous situations without running afoul of the new OCR standards?

This webinar will present a variety of creative solutions that aim to reduce institutional legal risk and increase student safety. The presenter will discuss how to address suicidal and self-harm behaviors on campus through the Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT), counseling services, and the student conduct office. She will also address critical dos and dont's when working with sensitive students in crisis situations.


  • Address the issues of suicide, self-harm, and delusional/psychotic behavior through counseling, conduct, and administrative interventions
  • Understand the importance of addressing behavior through case management, team meetings, and parental involvement
  • Learn how to pursue an involuntary medical withdrawal with a student through tuition refunds, incompletes, and housing refunds
  • Decide when to pursue inpatient hospital admissions, partial day treatment, and off-campus counseling referrals
  • Learn how to discuss these changes with the campus community, frustrated parents, and students while respecting FERPA and privileged communication

Who Should Attend?

  • 2-year & 4-year institutions
  • Academic Affairs/Instruction
  • Student Services/Affairs
  • Faculty (full and part-time)
  • Advising
  • Counseling
  • Residence Life
  • Retention Specialist
  • Student Life
  • Veteran Services
  • Campus Safety