Helping Others in Distress
You can play a critical role in helping someone in distress. It’s important to recognize the symptoms of distress and respond when you see them. Know the resources available to you and how to access the right people. Here are a few guidelines to help you help others in distress:
- Observe your situation and assess for safety. If the distressed individual has a weapon or is physically acting out, do not engage. If you or others are in danger, contact IUPD-Kokomo at 765-455-9363 or 911 as soon as you are safe to do so.
- If it is safe to initiate contact, speak directly and evenly. Let the person know who you are and that you want to help.
- Listen to the person without offering advice. Avoid negatives or commiseration. Focus on listening objectively.
- Suggest (but don’t force) the distressed individual go to the CAPS office with you. You can ask permission to accompany him/her/them to the CAPS office or another mental health provider.
If suicide, homicide, or self-harm is discussed, contact Indiana University Police Department Kokomo, CAPS, or complete the Person of Concern form .
If you do not feel safe providing assistance, or the student leaves/walks away in crisis, call 911 or the University Police at 765-455-9363 depending on the severity of the situation. Emergency services can be accessed 24 hours a day by calling Howard County Regional Health at 765-453-8555. Please do not risk your own safety. IU Run, Hide, Fight.
For mental health emergencies after CAPS hours, call Indiana University Police Department Kokomo at 765-455-9363 , call 911, or go immediately to your nearest emergency room. For all emergency situations where someone requires immediate medical assistance and/or is in immediate danger to him/herself or others, call 911 or Indiana University Police Department Kokomo at 765-455-9363 .
If someone is talking about suicide (make this an accordion drop down)
If you are thinking about suicide, or know a friend that may be, this site can provide help and hope.
The Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) office can provide support for students at no cost. Appointments are available M-F from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., with later hours available if necessary. Consultation and referrals are also available for faculty, staff, and parents.
Same-day crisis appointments will be arranged for students experiencing:
- Suicidal or homicidal thoughts
- Inability to perform daily tasks
- An acute stressor that threatens the safety of self or others
Counseling and Psychological Services
Local 24-hour crisis numbers
- Howard County Regional Health: 765-453-8555
- Family Service Association of Howard County: 765-868-3154
National 24-hour hotlines