- Find practicum sites that allow you to work with suicidal individuals. If one does not exist in your program, consider starting one! Most towns and cities have a VA, emergency department, or inpatient psychiatric facility with a mental health professional on staff who could supervise practicum students. Talk to the faculty in your program to get permission to seek such opportunities, then reach out to community facilities to establish a relationship.
- Find a mentor who is a suicidologist and talk to him/her about the field, research and clinical work. AAS is a great resource for this.
- Get involved in the AAS student group. Many research and networking opportunities are a result becoming involved and simply meeting people, who may think of you for other projects in the future.
- Conduct research in suicidology when possible. For example, for your master's degree project or dissertation project, try to create projects that focus on correlates of suicide ideation or attempts, assessment and treatment of suicide risk, or issues related to surviving suicide.
- Present your research! Even if you cannot attend national conferences, your university may have graduate student research days where you can present your research to faculty and community members.
- Attend the AAS Annual Conference. Hear about other research, present your own, meet suicidologists, and talk to other students.
- When you are required to write reviews or research proposals for courses, focus these papers on topics in suicidology.
- Contribute to the AAS Student E-Newsletter. There are opportunities to review research, books, and prevention programs, as well as specialty columns.
- Seek out clinical training opportunities that increase your suicidology-related knowledge and skills. For example, AAS offers Recognizing and Responding to Suicide Risk, a two-day workshop for clinicians. The QPR Institute offers a briefer gatekeeper training, available online, to provide basic information about risk factors and warning signs.
- For psychology graduate students, seek out internships that allow you to work with suicidal clients. Those with crisis rotations, a focus on dialectical behavior therapy, and inpatient units may provide such training.
- Become a student member of AAS.
- See the list for undergraduates! All of these ideas also apply to graduate students.
- Become involved in/start an Active Minds chapter at your school
- Volunteer at the local crisis center/on a crisis line.
- Volunteer with IMAlive.org, an online crisis chat.
- Find a research lab to volunteer in that focuses on suicide, depression, anxiety, clinical treatment or other related topics; you can often get course credit for this.
- Find a local psychologist or counselor who treats suicidal clients and talk to him/her about his/her experiences with suicidal clients (both the pros and cons) and the steps required to become a therapist (such as graduate school and licensure).
- Write letters to local newspapers about suicide prevention, particularly when suicide prevention events are occurring (such as National Suicide Prevention Week each September).
- Consider putting together an awareness event for suicide prevention, such as an Out of the Darkness Community Walk, or a table with mental health and suicide prevention resources on your campus (in conjunction with your counseling center or other trained mental health professionals).
- Get involved in political advocacy. SPAN-USA provides action alerts and liaison opportunities.
- Become a student member of AAS.