Year: 2006 Source: NASPA Journal, v.43, no.4, (2006), p.164-181 SIEC No: 20090529

When suicidal behaviour is reported, student affairs officers on many American campuses notify parents as one component of a multifaceted campus suicide prevention plan. In response to proposals to mandate parent notification, the author argues that practical considerations warrant against expanding state laws to require notification following campus suicide attempts. The recent experience with parent notice at one university confirms the work of earlier researchers who concluded that parents rarely withdraw suicidal students from enrollment. Although a policy of sending the letters may deter further episodes of self-destructive behaviuor, parents once alerted to the situation are less liely to intervene in a manner that will reduce signficantly the risk of suicide. (33 refs.)