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Office of Accountability & Advocacy

Consistent with its mission, the Office of Accountability and Advocacy (OAA) also exists to support students, especially in instances of exigent needs that might affect their academic pursuits at AUMThe OAA uses collaborative means of ensuring that student’s needs are met in an appropriate and timely manner. As such, students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to report to our office, all students who are struggling with academic, personal, emotional difficultiesand/or exhibiting threatening and worrisome behaviors. Reports should be submitted using the respective incident reporting form noted below or via email/ phone at accountability@aum.edu / 334-244-3106.

Programs/ Initiatives

As a result of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, many students might find that they are not able to effectively complete required coursework due to their inability to gain access to a computer while away from campus. In response to this issue, the Office of Student Affairs now offers a Loaner Laptop Program. Students who are currently enrolled can borrow a laptop for the semester free of cost! Students can stop by the Student Affairs Office located in Suite163 of the Taylor Center to borrow a loaner laptop. All loaner laptops must be returned on or before the mandatory return deadline to avoid incurring any late fees. Check with staff in the Department of Student Affairs for the LLP return deadline of the current semester.

The Peer Advocates Program is available to educate and support the AUM community. Comprised of a group of exemplary students, Peer Advocates support fellow AUM students by serving as leaders on campus while connecting students to community resources and engaging them in campus projects. Peer Advocates also help provide fellow students with the basic tools, information, and support to address potential barriers to student success. Peer Advocates assist with programming that includes: leadership development skills, college survival skills, test preparation, health & nutrition, safety and awareness, personal accountability, drug & alcohol awareness, maintaining healthy relationships, effective communication skills, times management, goal setting, etc. 

Interested in Being a Peer Advocate?

Wellness & Health

Suicide prevention efforts supports our goals to create a safe and engaged campus community for everyone. However, the responsibility of suicide prevention does not rest only with the Office of Accountability & Advocacy and/or the office of Counseling & Health Promotion Services. Instead, it is a shared responsibility of the entire campus community: students, faculty, and staff alike. As such, in order to build skills for effectively aiding in suicide prevention, it is important to understand and be able to identify signs, known Myths/ Facts related to suicide, and know how to actively help individuals who are suicidal as needed:

Warning signs of suicide includes behaviors or signals that may indicate that an individual is at immediate or acute risk for suicide attempt or completion. According to the Crisis Center, Birmingham AL, the following descriptor (F.A.C.T.S) can be used to help identify if an individual is at risk for attempting/ completing suicide:

F  for Feelings

  • Hopelessness “It will never get any better.“There’s nothing anyone can do.
  • Fear of losing control, fear of going crazy, fear of harming oneself or others. Helplessness, a feeling that “no one cares,” “everyone would be better off without me.”
  • Overwhelming guilt, shame, self-hatred.
  • Pervasive sadness

A  for Actions or Events

  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Themes of death or destruction in talk or written materials (letters, notes)
  • Nightmares
  • Agitation, restlessness
  • Aggression, recklessness

C  for Change

  • In personality – more withdrawn, tired, apathetic, indecisive or more boisterous, talkative, outgoing; Different temperament than usual.
  • In thoughts – can’t concentrate on schoolwork, routine tasks, etc.
  • In sleep patterns – oversleeping, excessive sleeping, insomnia
  • In eating habits – loss of appetite, weight gain/loss, overeating, change in eating rituals
  • In activities – loss of interest in friends, hobbies, personal grooming, or other activities
  • Sudden improvement after a period of being down or withdrawn, “too euphoric”

T  for Threats

  • Statements, e.g., “How long does it take to bleed to death?”
  • Threats, e.g., “I won’t be around much longer.”
  • Plans, e.g., putting affairs in order, giving away favorite things, obtaining a weapon.
  • Gestures, or attempts, e.g., overdose, wrist cutting.

S  for Situations

  • Recent loss through death, divorce, end of relationship, separation, loss of job, money, status, pride, self-esteem, loss of religious faith or spirituality
  • Changes that feel overwhelming

Myth: No one can prevent suicide.

  • Fact: An individual is less likely to be suicidal again they are provided with the help that they need.

Myth: Confronting a person about suicide will only make them angry and increase risk of suicide.

  • Fact: Asking about suicide lowers anxiety, opens up communication, and reduces the risk of impulsive acts.

Myth: Suicidal people keep their plans to themselves.

  • Fact: Most suicidal people communicate their intent at some point before their attempt.

Myth: Those who talk about suicide don’t do it.

  • Fact: People who talk about suicide may attempt or even complete it.

Myth: Once a person decides to complete suicide, there is nothing anyone can do to stop them.

  • Fact: Suicide is one of the most preventable kinds of death.

Myth: Most suicides happen during the holidays.

  • Fact: There are seasonal variations in suicide rates.

Suicide is preventable with the help of others. If you find that you or someone else is exhibiting behaviors that are concerning/ indicative of being suicidal, it may indicate that help is needed. Please consider the following QPR strategy (Question, Persuade, Refer) as suggested by the QPR Institute when helping someone who is suicidal: 

  • Question the Person about Suicide
    • Ask them directly: Do they have thoughts, feelings, and/or plans to kill themselves?
  • Persuade the Person to Get Help
  • Refer for Help

Additional QPR Strategies 

  • Try to recognize and remember the warning signs of suicide and assess if someone might be suicidal. 
  • Reach out. Asking about suicide does not increase risk! 
  • Share your observations with them. Let them know your concerns for their health & safety. 
  • Listen. Talking things out can save someone’s life. 
  • Don’t try to do everything yourself. Get help. 
  • Do not promise secrecy and don’t worry about being disloyal. 
  • If persuasion fails, call Counseling & Health Promotion Services at 334-244-3469, and/or the following emergency services that are available 24/7. 

Want More Info About AUM?

Location

Taylor Center 101

Address

7400 East Drive Montgomery, AL 36117

Office Hours

8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday - Friday

Call Today

334-244-3000

Fax

334-244-3795

E-mail

admissions@aum.edu

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