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Suicide Prevalence & Prevention Among College Students
Suicide: How can we better understand its causes and prevent its occurrence?
The AmericanFoundation forSuicide Preventionranks suicide asthe third leadingcause of deathamong those 15-24years old.The nationalaverage of collegestudents sufferingfrom severedepression linkedto thoughts ofsuicide is 13percent of thestudent body.Out of this 13percent ofcontemplativestudents, less than1 percent actuallycompletes suicide.
• About 7 percent of DU students report suffering from major depression with thoughts of suicide.• At any given time, 3 percent of DU students may be in the contemplative state.• Less than 1 percent of DU students actually complete suicide.
Stress from academic course load and the highdemands expected of college level students servesas a leading contributing factor to development ofdepression with suicidal thoughts.
The number one cause of suicideamong college students is untreateddepression."College can be a difficult transition,with new independence,responsibilities and expectationsarriving just as a students previoussupport system of family and friendsare often not readily available.”“To add to the problem, the late teenyears are often when biologically-based illnesses, such as depressionand bipolar disorder, begin tomanifest themselves.” says Dr. DavidKahn, vice chair for clinical affairs forthe Department of Psychiatry at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/ColumbiaUniversity Medical Center.
Wrist cutting is usually practiced with the goalof self-mutilation, and not suicide; however, ifthe cut is deep and the bleeding is profuseand/or allowed to continue, death may result.
The second most commonmethod used to commit suicideis self-poisoning especiallythrough drug overdose.Self-poisoning is especiallycommon among women whodesire a less violent method forcommitting suicide.
Firearms are the most commonly usedmethod of suicide for men and women,accounting for 60 percent of all suicides.
A white rose of remembrance for all those lost to suicide. Dew drops mark the countless tears shed.
The best way to prevent someone from committing suicide is to develop a relationship withthem or strengthen your current relationship by being available to listen and talk.“When a person discloses suicidal thoughts, we must resist the instinct to talk the person outof it and instead say, ‘You must really be hurting. Tell me more.’” noted Dr. StaceyFreedenthal, an associate professor at the DU Graduate School of Social Work.
According to mental health counselors atArizona State University, factors that canhelp reduce suicidal thoughts and feelingsinclude: resiliency skills; healthy habits,including adequate sleep, diet and physicalexercise; and readily accessible healthcare and counseling services.
“A friend’s hug is like the stars that light up your life when things get dark.” – Author Unknown