Suicide is an issue that affects everyone, and college students are no exception. According to the national data on campus suicide and depression, suicide is the second-leading cause of death among 20 to 24 year olds in the United States. The National Data on Campus Suicide and Depression says that one in twelve college students in the United States will make a suicide plan.
One of the main causes behind the rise of suicide rates in young people is the equal rise of anxiety and depression. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, depression and anxiety disorders are the most common mental disorders in America, with 40 million adults affected by them. Of course, mental disorders aren’t the only reasons that college students consider suicide.
College can be a very stressful place, students have very high expectations put on them and living up to these expectations can be very difficult. Put that on top of classwork, clubs, and extracurricular activities, and college students have a lot on their plate.
There are organizations who have taken steps to raise awareness about this issue. Active Minds, a non-profit organization, hosted a traveling exhibition to college campuses across the country two years ago. Send Silence Packing was an exhibition that left empty backpacks with the names and pictures of deceased students to show suicide’s reach. The exhibition gained national headlines and helped raise awareness about the issue of increasing suicide rates amongst college students.
So how can students who are in danger of harming themselves get the help that they need? Thankfully, there are several ways that they can receive help. Most universities have a counseling or mental health center on or near campus. Here in Shippensburg, we have a counseling center located in Naugle Hall which is open to all students. They can be reached at 717-477-1481 and they are open on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
These services are typically free for students and are included with tuition costs. However, there are other options available for these students if they are unable to meet with a counselor on campus. Online services where people can meet with a counselor over the internet have become popular ways for people to seek help in recent years.
If you feel like a friend or a loved one is struggling with suicidal thoughts or depression, don’t be afraid to reach out to them. Sometimes, letting them know that there are people that care about them and want them to succeed can make all the difference.