Office of Student Life


Risk Factors

Disabilities can increase suicide risk among college students. Students with physical, emotional, or cognitive disabilities, like all college students, are at risk for suicide. Research has shown that the risk for suicide is higher if the disability is less visible. Unfortunately, the complexity of understanding the unique needs for college students with disabilities may lead to overlooking risk factors for suicide such as:

  • The absence of caretakers while learning to become increasingly self-sufficient,
  • The severity and visibility of a disability,
  • Holding persistent beliefs of achieving full health and/ or ability, and
  • A disability that is acquired.
  • An unwillingness to seek help because of mental health stigma
  • A denial of the disability
  • Feelings of conflict between one’s self-concept and one’s disability
  • Stopping medication or treatment for a disability
Suicide Risk Increases with Experiences such as:
  • Prejudice or discrimination
  • Problems with developing or maintaining independence
  • A recent loss (e.g., death or break-up)
Students With Disabilities Resources

OSU Disability Services