For family members regarding hospitalization

When hospitalization may be necessary 

When a student has made a suicide attempt or is dealing with compelling impulses or thoughts about self-harm or is out of contact with reality, hospitalization may be necessary. CAPS therapists will evaluate a student’s safety and ability to take care of themselves and decide about hospitalization. In most instances, students will be able to cooperate with the therapist's assessment and voluntarily agree to enter the hospital. Infrequently, a student is not able to realistically assess their own risk, will be uncooperative, and need to be involuntarily committed to the hospital. Most often, a student in crisis will be encouraged to allow the CAPS therapists to contact their family to inform them of the crisis and coordinate support and treatment. Sometimes family members will be available and able to supervise and help a student through a crisis and thus avert a hospitalization, depending on the severity and imminent nature of risk. In most cases, students needing hospitalization will be referred to the UNC Neurosciences Hospital (located adjacent to the Campus Health building) where communication with the department of psychiatry can be easily facilitated.

Once a student has been hospitalized

The hospital inpatient treatment team will take over the student’s care and plan for appropriate follow-up care after discharge. CAPS can assist with addressing academic concerns arising from the student’s emotional difficulties. There are some instances when a student’s self-harm behavior has come to some public attention and the Dean of Student’s Office has been notified. This may initiate a review process by the Dean of Student’s Office to evaluate the student’s status before they return to classes and their residence hall (if living on campus). This process is established to ensure that the student is not at continuing risk to self or others and has appropriate treatment supports established.

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