Appendix I - Self Harm Protocol

The Ball State University Self Harm Protocol consists of three main sections: (1) Self Harm Prevention: (2) Incident Response: and (3) Emergency Notification. The primary intent of the protocol is to assist in identifying at-risk students and provide for them the care/treatment needed to effectively and safely deal with their problems. The protocol includes procedures for responding to incidents of suicide, suicidal attempts and/or threats, and other self-harm ideation, as well as guidelines for when and how to contact family and/or friends during an emergency.

The Incident Response portion of the protocol is intended to provide faculty, staff and others guidelines to follow when faced with incidents of suicide, self-harm attempts or suicide ideation involving students living on and off campus. In each case, specific directions guide the individual's response for particular emergency situations, including appropriate follow-up with the student. Minimally, students who are judged to be at significant risk of self harm will be required to attend two risk assessment sessions in the Counseling Center. For those students who demonstrate a repeated risk of self harm, a referral will be made to the Dean of Students who will convene a committee to help determine the appropriateness for the student to remain in school.

A brief overview of the protocol includes the following:
  • Faculty/staff awareness of self harm incident
  • Implementation of the Incident Response Protocol
  • Referral for appropriate services (hospitalization, Counseling Center, 911 emergency, etc.)
  • Referral to the Dean of Students (Official letter to student detailing notice of requirements, parental notification, etc.)
  • Required minimum of two sessions of assessment in the Counseling Center
  • Referral back to the Dean of Students as necessary
  • Committee consultation to determine appropriate recommendations for the student.

Further, in the event of a serious suicide attempt or ideation, and in cases of completed suicide, it is likely to be appropriate to notify parents, spouse, or other family members. The decision to notify shall be made in accordance with the Emergency Response procedures provided within the Self Harm Protocol. These procedures also apply to notification in the event of any death of student, accidental injury or life-threatening illness. The protocol is designed to assist faculty and staff in making appropriate decisions for notification; however all incidents involving student hospitalization, serious suicide attempts, and the death should only be handled by the Dean of Students. Faculty/staff should not contact parents directly.

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