Suicide is the second leading cause of death in college students. Suicide in elementary schools and high schools has been in the media surrounding bullying and broken homes, while suicide prevention on college and university campuses has taken a back seat in the media. The suicide rate has tripled in young adults ages 15-24 since 1950. It is important for college and university campuses to provide resources to students who feel helpless and are considering suicide.
An estimated 10,888 suicides occur at colleges every year, which are roughly 7.5 per 100,000 students according to an American College Health Association study in 2002. 1 in 12 college students has actually made a suicide plan at some point, while 1.5 out of every 100 have actually attempted suicide. There are many reasons why students contemplate suicide. Young adults with mental health conditions, which include depression, are most at risk. College students are naturally high risk because they are in a new environment and out of their comfort zone. Without their support system in the first year of college, and working under intense pressure, it is hard to find a more stressful atmosphere for a young adult.
Suicide Prevention Programs provide resources for students who feel that they have nowhere else to go. Unfortunately, students may have more peers who share the same feelings than they may think. Arizona State University reports that in 2006, 11% of its students considered suicide and 1% actually attempted the act. There needs to be more discussion on university campuses about bringing awareness to this issue.
Students who contemplate suicide often feel that they are the only person who feels that way, which is just not the case. Regionally accredited universities like Florida National University (FNU) work towards ensuring the safety of each of their students. On its Students Services page, FNU has a link to Switchboard of Miami; an organization dedicated to helping people with serious issues such as suicide, drug addiction and more. It is the obligation of all educational institutions to make sure that students have an outlet if they feel troubled whether at their university or home life.
Burrell, J. (2012). College and Teen Suicide Statistics. Retrieved from http://youngadults.about.com/od/healthandsafety/qt/suicide.htm
Cutler, David M., Glaeser, Edward L., Norberg, Karen E. (January 2001). Explaining the Rise in Youth Suicide (National Bureau of Economic Research ISBN 0-226-31013-2). University of Chicago Press. Retrieved from http://www.nber.org/chapters/c10690.pdf
The National Mental Health Association (2002). Safeguarding Against Suicide. Retrieved September 6, 2012 from http://www.acha.org/topics/docs/Safeguarding_Against_Suicide_FULLreport.pdf