Frequently Asked Questions

How can I get more involved in suicide prevention?

Students can join the NSU Students for Prevention, Intervention, and Response to Emergencies (NSPIRE) group. For more information on NSPIRE, contact Sean Coad or Caroline Avitabile, at

Anyone can participate in the "Out of Darkness Walk"which is a community event in support of suicide prevention at Nova Southeastern University or attend the other events listed here. Those interested in suicide prevention can also join the American Association of Suicidology. Visit this link for more resources.

What should I do if I think someone is suicidal?

If you think someone is suicidal, do not leave him or her alone. Help the person seek immediate help from his or her doctor, mental health walk-in clinic or the nearest hospital emergency room, or call 911. Eliminate access to firearms or other potential tools for suicide, including access to medications.

NSU Weapons Policy

Please be aware that that NSU has a very strict weapons policy and does not permit anything that could be considered a weapon on campus. This is in contrast to Florida law and is strictly enforced on NSUís campus.

Apart from talking to a suicidal person and encouraging him/her to go for counseling, what else can we do to prevent suicide?

Going with someone to the counselor often helps. If the person won't listen to you, you may need to talk to someone who might influence him or her. Saving a life is more important than violating a confidence.

Who should be involved in suicide prevention? Whose responsibility is it?

We believe that suicide prevention is up to all of us! It is important that everyone who is in a position to notice the early warning signs of suicidal behavior learns how to intervene and how to access help. Parents, families, and friends of course, play an important role but they may need the help of others to recognize suicidal behaviors.

What causes suicide?

Suicidal behavior is one of the most complicated of human behaviors. This question cannot be answered briefly. There is no research that shows that a particular set of risk factors can accurately predict the likelihood of imminent danger of suicide for a specific individual. It is fair to say that suicidal people are experiencing varying degrees of external stressors, internal conflict and neurobiological dysfunction and these factors contribute to their state of mind. Depression, anxiety, conduct disorders, and substance abuse all contribute to the possibility of suicide, but they do not cause suicide. It is important to know the common risk factors and warning signs in order to prevent suicide.

How do you know if someone is suicidal?

The best way to know whether or not someone is suicidal is to ASK! Whether or not you know the warning signs of suicide, if for ANY reason you think someone might be suicidal, it is perfectly OK to ask. You will not cause suicide by asking and you may very well save a life. Suicidal individuals are in a lot of pain, and the very fact that someone has noticed, has expressed concern, and asked about suicide often provides the relief and time needed to explore other options and get help.

How do I know if I need counseling?

If you find you are often preoccupied by a concern, persistently experiencing anxiousness, sadness or anger, and/or finding yourself more isolated and having difficulty with focusing on your studies, you may benefit from using counseling services. If you find yourself thinking about not wanting to live, it is important you make use of counseling services to help you through these intense thoughts and feelings.

How can I make an appointment at Student Counseling?

You can inquire about services or make an appointment by calling 954-424-6911 or 954-262-7050 or stopping by the Student Counseling center which is located at 3538 South University Drvie (in University Park Plaza), Davie, FL 33314 (Interactive Campus Map).

The Center is open Monday through Friday. Hours are: Mon, Thurs, & Fri: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.; Tues and Wed: 9:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. Walk-ins are welcome. For more information, visit:

What can Student Counseling do for students?

Student Counseling helps students:
  • make sense of what is going on
  • make meaningful changes
  • find ways to better handle stress
  • identify sources of support
  • discover solutions
  • if necessary, see the psychiatrist and (if needed), obtain a prescription for medication

What about my privacy?

The Counseling Center provides confidential services consistent with State of Florida and professional standards. Client records are not part of a studentís educational record.

What does is cost to receive services at Student Counseling?

NSU students have 10 free sessions per year. If a student requires additional sessions, a reasonable rate can be negotiated based on financial situation or referrals to professionals in the community can be facilitated.

Will information from my counseling end up on my academic record?

No. Your sessions with a counselor are confidential. Their goal is to provide a safe environment for you to talk about personal matters.

This website was developed [in part] under a grant number SM-09-001 from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The views, policies, and opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of SAMHSA or HHS.