St. Norbert College
St. Norbert College
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For any health or counseling issues, please call Health and Wellness Services at (920) 403-3266. If the office is closed, please refer to one of the phone numbers provided on the recorded message at the above number.

Other emergency telephone numbers

National Institute of Mental Health: Depression

Suicide Prevention

American Association of Suicidology

The Jed Foundation

A Handbook for Survivors of Suicide (PDF)

Half of UsHalf of Us
Feel better, check yourself, find help now, help a friend and more. MTV- produced info about college mental health.

18 Million Reasons
 Depression and suicide concerns

Depression and suicide risk are very common among college students nationwide, and St. Norbert College staff, faculty and fellow students are committed to helping those who struggle with depression or suicide risk. More personally, many of us (staff or faculty) have had direct life experience with someone who’s attempted or committed suicide, and we want to do what we can to prevent it from happening again. Below you’ll find some information about depression and suicide. We’ve kept it brief because you can find lots of valuable information on the internet. The basic idea though is that we want you to get help AND to look out for your friends and acquaintances who might need a push/shove to get help. Depression and suicide risk are treatable conditions. NOBODY is expelled from St. Norbert just for being depressed or suicidal. Call us (anonymously if you want) if you have questions about depression and suicide and we’ll be happy to answer so that you can make the best decisions for you and your friends. We’re all in this together.

Depression encompasses a wide range of conditions that can be relatively brief, like after the death of a pet or a failed grade, or life-long with many ups and downs. Without knowing the specifics of your situation, it’s hard to give advice on how to deal with it. However, some general advice includes: 1. Increase cardiovascular exercise. 2. Actively seek help from an advisor, hall director, psychologist, priest or other trusted staff/faculty member. 3. Examine biological factors that might be contributing such as low thyroid, lack of Vitamin D heavy alcohol use or a history of head injuries just to name a few. 4. Examine your thinking patterns and make changes if your patterns are consistently negative. The bottom line is that various forms of depression exist, and if your symptoms persist for more than two weeks, you need to speak with a professional.

Common symptoms of depression can include
  •     Sad or irritable mood (sad is more common among women, irritable is more common among men)
  •     Too much sleep or trouble getting enough sleep
  •     Loss of interest or pleasure in things
  •     Feelings of guilt, helplessness, hopelessness or worthlessness
  •     Low energy
  •     Difficulty concentrating
  •     Weight gain or weight loss
  •     Feeling agitated, keyed up, “hyper” or anxious
  •     Loss of sexual or romantic interest
  •     Pessimistic view of self, others, or “the world”
Common conditions or symptoms associated with suicide risk can include
  •     Making direct or indirect statements about death or suicide or otherwise hurting one’s self
  •     A history of suicide attempts or gestures
  •     Male gender
  •     Caucasian race
  •     Alcohol abuse
  •     Relationship problems
  •     Serious medical problems
  •     Lack of hope for the future
  •     Access to bridges, firearms or material for hanging/strangulation
  •     Untreated depression
  •     Lack of contact with a mental health provider

Here is an article we wrote for an edition of the SNC Times that may give you something to think about:

Suicide, when it’s not a joke any more.
When I was in college, the rumor was that if your roommate committed suicide you got your tuition and room for free.  Of course sitting around the lunch table we would joke around about those who might commit suicide or who we might want to do it- it was just joking?  We were a bunch of dumb young guys who never knew anyone who’d committed suicide.

On the day after Thanksgiving, 1984, I was visiting my Aunt and her family because my immediate family was too far away to visit (we were poor back then).  My Aunt answered the phone and said “Henderson’s” as was the custom and looked at me and said, “There’s someone named Maria on the phone for you.”  Maria was one of my closest friends from home, and there was no reason she should be calling, much less know where I was.  Back in those days we wrote letters and I hadn’t written for a while and to call “long distance” was quite expensive during the day so I immediately knew something was up.  Did she want to date me?  Did something happen to her mom?

I said “Hello” and she immediately said “Mark’s dead.”  She started crying and said he’d killed himself by parking his car in the garage and closing the door.  I tried talking but didn’t really know what to say.  Mark was a good friend of ours and he’d been having problems with his parents, problems with school, and problems with his girlfriend.  After some time I hung up, sat down, and was in shock for days.  The following Monday I was back at school, sitting at the lunch table, and told the guys what happened.  We didn’t talk about free tuition and rooms any more.

Mark was a tall, handsome, funny guy who was so good looking, that we used to joke about 30 year-olds picking him up (which had actually happened).  This was before “Cougars” were popular.  He drank too much, and smoked too much, and apparently he decided that on Thanksgiving night, 1984 that his problems were never going to get better so he ended it.

When people ask me why I’m a psychologist, I typically say it’s because the girls in psychology class were a lot better looking than the guys in the physics class, so I decided I’d rather be a psychologist than a physicist.  The truth is that 25 or 26 years later I can still remember that phone call and want to do everything I can to make sure one of you don’t get that phone call.

Sometimes I hear people at the Caf or Phil’s talking about “killing themselves” if something doesn’t work out (a paper, a date, a project, etc.).  But if they’d ever gotten that call, they probably would use a different phrase or not be so quick to think of ending their life (even jokingly) over temporary problems. 

The bottom line for me, 25+ years later, is that permanent solutions for temporary problems are not the answer. I’ve had a lot of laughs in my life, had my heart broken and found the love of my life, had problems with my parents, struggled with my own demons, and when I get to the point where I wonder if I can make it one more day, I think “Mark’s been dead this entire time.  If he would have made it one more day, he might have found something to keep him going for the past 25 years.”  But he didn’t; he chose the permanent solution for arguments and problems that he would have long forgotten about by now.

My life’s work now is to help students in distress. Usually it’s about something that’s somewhat embarrassing or difficult but not overwhelming. For those of you who know me, you know that I often find some humor in the situation, and we figure out a way to fix the problem without letting it overwhelm the student. Occasionally though it’s overwhelming, and the student thinks they might be better off dead. Often I remember that Mark never saw “The Office” or “Seinfeld” or Michael Jordan win 6 championships, or the birth of his own children, or the first African American President, or even Haley’s Comet. So I try to help the student realize that if today is the worst day of their life, tomorrow MUST be better. The four years (or more) you spend at Saint Norbert are going to have ups and downs. But there is nothing that will happen here that will be worth missing the First Mission to Mars, the First Woman President, the birth of your children, or the next great show everyone is talking about- please tell me it’s not “Jersey Shore” or “Tough Love”.

Use our staff, use online resources, use the campus ministers, use off-campus professionals, use whoever you need to in order to make sure you and your friends see what life has to offer over the next 25+ years.


Phone: (920) 403-3045
Fax: (920) 403-3099

St. Norbert College • 100 Grant Street • De Pere, WI 54115-2099 • 920-337-3181