The majority of today’s college students are generally happy with their lives and optimistic about their future. But many students will struggle at some point during their college careers with depression, anxiety, substance abuse and other mental health concerns.
In fact, the Jed Foundation reports that half of college students have felt so depressed at a time that they were unable to function. College campuses across the United States have robust resources available to help with mental health issues. Regrettably, students overall are reluctant to take advantage of those resources.
Suicide is a leading cause of death for college students. You can help save a life by knowing and understanding the facts of suicide prevention.
College life can be a time of high stress. Some common events that contribute to student stress are: embarrassment, shame, a break-up or loss of relationship, not getting into a particular major, fear of poor grades, fear of losing financial aid or the pressure to be perfect.
There is help, but college students may be reluctant to seek help because of:
- Beliefs that they should be able to handle their problems on their own
- Concerns about what family, peers or professors might think
- Concerns that they their feelings mean they are “crazy”
Having thoughts of suicide is often a sign that something needs attention and care. Most suicidal people don’t want to die, they just want their pain to end.
Suicide Risk Factors
|History of family depression and/or suicide||History of abuse|
|History of previous suicide attempts||Mental health problem that is untreated e.g., depression, bipolar disorder, or anxiety|
|Access to firearms or other lethal methods||Isolation from family and/or spiritual community|
|Prejudice, racial tension, discrimination, or inter-cultural conflict||A recent loss (e.g. death or break-up)|
|Poverty and under- or unemployment||Concerns about mental health stigma|
|Experiences of hopelessness and helplessness||Feelings of alienation, loneliness, guilt, shame, or inadequacy|
|Conflict with others or feeling misunderstood||Behaviors that are impulsive or aggressive|
|Absence of interpersonal attachments||Feelings of worthlessness|
|A new educational system||Language barriers|
|Homesickness and culture shock||Fears about seeking help for depression or suicidal thoughts|
|Academic problems (e.g., failing courses, missing classes, inattentiveness)|
Our brochures covers important guidelines about suicide prevention. These topics include:
- Suicide risks for college students
- Specific risk factors
- Warning signs
- Signs of depression
- Common concerns among college students who experience depression
- Suggestions on how to help
- Help resources