BCC to Offer Suicide Prevention Training  to Students, Faculty and Staff

Free online course takes less than an hour to complete

In recognition of the growing rate of suicide among college students, Berkshire Community College (BCC) will offer students, faculty and staff the opportunity to enroll in a free online course to learn how to recognize the signs of suicidal ideation and how to take action. As an incentive, students who successfully complete the course by June 1, 2023 will receive a $100 stipend through a statewide mental health grant.

According to the American College Health Association (ACHA), the suicide rate among young adults ages 15 – 24 has tripled since the 1950s. Suicide is currently the second most common cause of death among college students.

BCC students, faculty and staff have the ability to make the difference in helping those who are considering suicide. Trainings like these enhance the skills needed to save lives both within and outside of the BCC community. Having these important conversations on what to do when someone shows signs of self-harm is a helpful way to be able to intervene if friends, family, fellow students or colleagues are depressed and may be thinking of suicide.

Celia Norcross, Dean of Students

Celia Norcross

The training focuses on the three steps of "question, persuade and refer (QPR)," which anyone can employ to help someone who is thinking of suicide. QPR teaches how to recognize the warning signs of suicide and question a person about suicidal thoughts, how to persuade them to get help and how to refer them to professional help.

"Although BCC has provided suicide prevention trainings over the years, in partnership with Personal Counseling and the Berkshire Coalition for Suicide Prevention, this online training will provide an accessible way for more members of the BCC community to engage in this important learning," said Lisa Mattila, BCC Personal Counselor. "Research indicates that over one-third of students struggle with mental health issues nationally (according to the Jed Foundation), and this is a way to support our community as a whole."

If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis or is contemplating suicide, tell someone who can help right away. There are many local and national resources available. You can:

  • Call or text 988, the 24-hour Suicide Prevention Lifeline
  • Call 911 for emergency services or go to the nearest hospital emergency room
  • Call BCC Personal Counseling, 413-236-1609
  • Call My BCC Wellness, 833-434-1217 (available 24/7)
  • Call the Brien Center, 413-499-0412 (available 24/7)

For more information, visit Personal Counseling.