Center for Wellness & Wellbeing

Suicide Prevention Postvention


Prevention Plan

Mental health services have become increasingly important to SMC’s student success and retention efforts. As reported in the Chronicle of Higher Education on March 2016, “students at community colleges are more likely than their peers at four-year institutions to be struggling with mental illnesses, but are less likely to have access to mental health services.”  It is therefore imperative to provide specialized support to SMC students to assist in their ability to succeed academically.

Suicide is an important health concern and suicide prevention strategies are important for every academic institution to address. Suicide is the second-largest cause of death for young people ages 15-34, with males being 4 times more likely to die from suicide than females. Additionally, with every death by suicide, there are an estimated 46 other suicide attempts known as, “suicide contagion.” This begs academic institutions to not only look at the importance of how to address deaths by suicide on campus but also to plan for suicide prevention campus-wide. Faculty and staff must also be educated in order to identify those students who may be at-risk and effectively refer them to appropriate resources.

If you have concerns about a faculty or staff member, please contact Human Resources for support.

FERPA does not prevent you from reporting information to the college’s Care and Prevention Team (CPT) and/or Campus Police. If faculty or staff encounter a student presenting with suicidal ideation or suicidal behavior, they should refer to the following entities:

The Care and Prevention Team (CPT): The CPT is a multidisciplinary team of campus professionals who provide support and resources to students of concern. Please report to the CPT team by filling out a report.

If faculty or staff encounter a student who is in imminent danger, call Campus Police immediately:

310-434-4300 Emergency

Suicide Postvention Plan


When a student dies, the entire campus can be affected. Suicide, or speculations about suicide, can be particularly challenging for college students and staff to deal with. Students may react in a variety of ways and may require support from their institution. Faculty and staff need to be prepared to assist students in this process while protecting the student’s wellbeing.

These guidelines are intended to support the campus in the event of a student suicide or death. Student Affairs will provide suicide and death-specific educational and/or community-based resources for faculty and staff to share with their students who have been impacted. Providing information to students is essential to reduce the likelihood of “suicide contagion”. If details of the death cannot be verified, are unknown, or a family chooses not to publicize the suicide, rumors can start to spread and maybe fueled by social media posts. It is important that faculty and staff address this when it comes up by providing suicide-specific resources while continuing to not confirm the reason for death.

The goals of the Postvention Plan include the following:

  • To provide adequate support, proper assistance, and resources to all faculty, staff, and students impacted by the student death.
  • To restore the stability to the campus.

Notification of Event

If you are made aware of a student death, either by a student, a member of their family, or campus official, please notify the Campus Police right away 310-434-4300.

Under no circumstances should staff or faculty comment or provide information about a student’s death or suicide to any persons not directly involved in responding to the incident.

Protocol for Campus Notification

Administrative Regulation 2450 outlines student death responses and reporting.