For many, college is a time of new beginnings, new experiences and a whole new way of life. On the surface, this sounds like an amazing time, but for many, having their lives change over night is overwhelming and can lead to deadly consequences.
Emory University has found that one in ten college students have made a plan for how they will commit suicide, and it’s the third highest cause of death among people between the ages of 15 and 24.
Women are more likely to consider suicide than men, however, men are more likely to complete the act, according to thespruce.com.
Signs that students may be contemplating taking their own life can often be brushed aside as common pre-exam anxiety or emotions over a failed exam, but for 94 people a day, these signs are warnings of a much more serious issue.
Signs provided by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one of the largest not-for-profit organization raising awareness on suicide, include: “excessive worry or fear,” “avoiding friends or social activity,” “change in sex drive,” substance abuse and changes in appetite.
For the average college student, these signs may just be the growing pains of acclimating to college life, but for those who have preexisting mental health issues such as anxiety or depression, these changes can be the tipping point.
One in five adults live with a mental health condition, with seven percent suffering from depression and 18 percent from different forms of anxiety disorders, according to NAMI. 90 percent of those who end up taking their own lives suffered from the effects of mental illness prior to the act.
Groups such as the LGBT and Veterans are especially susceptible because of their tendency to be pushed to the fringes of society.
Suicide attempts among LGBT youth are four times higher than others, the Trevor Project says. Most attempts are in response to rejection from their families.
Veterans, especially returning from the Iraq-Afghanistan war, have some of the highest rates of PTSD in soldiers since WWI. According to the Veteran’s Administration, about 20 Veterans commit suicide every day.
Suicide does not need to be a solution to any college student’s problems.
It is a completely preventable and avoidable circumstance, however those who are at their lowest often don’t know where to turn.
Fullerton College has an entire team of mental health professionals ready to help students whenever they may need a helping hand, and has an entire page on their health center website dedicated to resources available to students to be a help line.
Nationally, there is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline which can be reached at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). There are lifeline volunteers ready to help around the clock. The deaf or hard of hearing, Spanish speakers, Veterans and even those who have just survived a crisis all have a line to throw out and be helped.
Suicide is a final solution that cannot be reversed. There is so much more ahead, do not let the stresses of college tear you down.