Crisis Support

FOR EMERGENCY CASES...

This emergency guide has been formulated to assist the staff in case of an emergency and is intended to provide a framework for the university staff in the management of an emergency situation related to psychological counseling.

States of Emergency

There are some urgent situations (which carry the risk of the student harming himself/herself) that need to be handled and dealt with immediately. When faced with such a situation, it is of utmost importance to approach the student, indicate your concern and refer the student to the Psychological Counseling Center.

Possible States of Emergency may be as follows:

A) A high level of aggressiveness and/or danger of harming others (intentionally, due to disturbed thought processes or negligence)

B) Bizarre behaviour and absurd speech, which indicate loss of contact with reality (confusion, disorientation, disorganised thoughts, delusions, hallucinations, unintelligible or improper speech)

C) Intoxication–the student may be under the effect of alcohol or drugs

* If you have any doubts on this issue, do not hesitate to ask the student directly if he/she is intoxicated, if his/her mind is confused or if he/she has any intention of harming himself/herself. Asking about suicidal thoughts or feelings won't lead a person to self-destructive behaviour. On the contrary, offering an opportunity to talk about feelings may reduce the risk of acting on suicidal feelings. The fact that someone has noticed and paid attention to their problems will eventually comfort many students.

D) Psychotic Attack

E) Suicidal Tendencies – if the student threatens to harm himself/herself; if he/she openly expresses his/her suicidal intentions; if he/she mentions suicide either verbally or in written form or hints at it; if there are non-verbal messages such as giving away personal belongings and/or bidding goodbye..

What to do when someone is suicidal:

a) If a student attending the Psychological Counseling Center for individual counseling sessions talks about suicide; 

  • A risk assessment is performed.
  • If the risk level is low, a written or verbal agreement is made with the student (the student promises not to harm himself) and s/he is encouraged to get psychiatric help. (If the student refuses to see a psychiatrist, the family is notified of the situation, the student is also informed about this communication)
  • If the level of risk is high or medium, the family and the administrative person in charge are notified – the student is informed and will be referred to the psychiatric ward of a hospital    without delay. (At the beginning of the sessions, all students read and sign a contract which states that the confidentiality agreement shall be breached if there is the likelihood of the individual harming himself/herself or others). 
  • After the emergency treatment, a joint assessment is made with the team of the psychiatric ward. If suitable, the student may be followed up by the psychological counseling center of the university.

b) If a third person (friends, academic or administrative staff) informs that a student is contemplating suicide:

  • The person who is informed of the student’s suicidal intentions encourages the student to seek psychological support and refers him/her to the Psychological Counseling Center. If the student agrees to make an individual interview, the necessary assessment will be made by the Psychological Counseling Center psychologists and steps stated in “a” are followed.
  • If the student refuses to make an interview, his/her family or relatives will be informed (by Psychological Counseling Center psychologists, friends or the person in charge) (the confidentiality agreement must be breached if there is the likelihood of the person harming himself/herself or others).

The relevant departments/persons should keep in touch with each other at all steps of the crisis intervention. However, one should keep in mind that it is not 100% possible to prevent suicide even if the individual is having psychological or psychiatric therapy.

c) If the individual attempts suicide on campus or in the dormitory;

Medical Intervention:

Since suicidal behaviour is a medical case, it requires medical intervention in the first hand. The medical intervention includes first aid and attempts to keep the individual alive.  

  • When an individual attempts suicide in the dormitory or on the campus, first aid is either given by a doctor or a nurse at that specific institution or at an outside health care facility off campus.
  • In case of a suicide attempt, the family of the individual need to be notified about the state of the individual. If the situation is life-threatening, that is, if there is the likelihood of the individual harming himself/herself or others, his/her family should be notified even if he/she is older than 18 years old. 

 

The Responsibilities of the Psychological Counseling Center in Suicide Intervention:

Since suicidal behaviour is a medical case, it requires medical intervention in the first hand. The individual is referred to a psychiatric service by the health care facility where he or she has been taken. After the emergency treatment, a joint assessment is made by the team of the psychiatric ward. If suitable, the student may be followed up by the psychological counseling center of the university.

 

Emergency Situations on Campus during Weekday Office Hours:

If you suspect that a student has the slightest intention of physically harming himself/herself or any other person, immediately contact the Psychological Counseling Center, the Infirmary and/or the Security. In this circumstance, the physical health and security of the individual is of primary importance. Therefore; when you are notifying the people in charge about the state of mind of the individual, do not hesitate to do so on the grounds that you are betraying his/her confidence and in order not to upset him/her. Also, accompany the student until you have handed him/her over to a qualified professional at the Psychological Counseling Center or Infirmary. Do not leave the student unattended.

Security Numbers:

South Campus: 0212 381 0909/0911/0912

North Campus: 0212 381 0925/0933

Galata Campus: 0212 381  0908/0910
Göztepe Campus: 0216 381 8194/8195

 

Health Services Numbers:

South Campus: 0212 381 0965

North Campus: 0212 381 0961/0967

Galata Campus: 0212 381 0964
Göztepe Campus: 0216 381 8172

 

After Hours Emergency Situations on Campus 

Taking the student to the nearest hospital, with the help of the security and the Dean of Student Office is the best option. If necessary you may use the help of Infirmary.

The student should be referred to the nearest health care facility (Taksim Eğitim ve Araştırma Hastanesi, Şişli Etfal Eğitim ve Araştırma Hastanesi, İstanbul Beşiktaş Sait Çiftçi Devlet Hastanesi etc.) by calling emergency services at 112.

If the student is staying in the dormitory, please notify the Dormitory Directorate or the Dormitory superintendent in order to call the situation to their attention.

Off-Campus Emergency Situations:    

Do not leave the student unattended. Contact the nearest health facility or 112 Acil Servis / Emergency Service or call 155 Polis İmdat / Police Emercency and the Dean of Student Office. Finally, notify the student’s parents or family.

References: 

American University Counseling Center

Bilgi Üniversitesi Psikolojik Danışmanlık Birimi, Akademik Kadro için Öğrencilere Yardım Rehberi

Brooklyn College Personal Counseling Program University of Dayton Counseling Center

Kansas State University Counseling Services

Mersin Üniversitesi Psikolojik Danışma ve Rehberlik Merkezi, Öğrenci Danışmanları ve Öğretim Okan Üyeleri için Öğrencileri Psikolojik Yardım Alma Konusunda Yönlendirme Rehberi

Okan Üniversitesi Psikolojik Danışmanlık ve Eğitim Merkezi (OPDEM), Acil Durum İşleyiş Protokolü   New Mexico State University Counseling Center

The George Washington University Counseling Center