All too often you come across a headline along the lines of “College Student Committed Suicide.” Sadly, at this time in our lives, most can relate to the article in some way. Since the 1950s, suicide rates among young adults, ages 15-24, have tripled. It is the second most common cause of death in this age group.
The numbers are especially high among college students. With 6% of undergraduates and 4% of graduates who have seriously considered an attempt to end their life. 1.5 out of every 100 students has attempted to commit suicide. Taking a look at Farmingdale with around 9,300 students’ means that around 139.5 students have attempted it. Most of the attempts are result of immense stress that young adults face, before and during college. Those stressors include competitiveness, tuition, acceptance rate, campus crime, and the economy. As time goes on, the levels of stress each of these produce increases.
A common problem in college students when learning about suicide prevention and awareness is the amount of resources available to them. Many know the usual; Your friends and family are there for you. However, many students feel ashamed of how they are feeling. Although the feeling may be common, it’s never the easiest to talk about with close friends and family. You don’t want them to worry, you don’t think they would care, or you don’t know how they would help. Still, you feel like you need someone to talk to.
There are many different platforms that have started to become available for all students, as well as anyone who may need it. The National Graduate Student Crisis Line is a college specific suicide hotline that has a higher concentration on helping college students. They are available through a phone number and an online chat. Other platforms that are now available through different sites also include a text line, where you can use your phone and you don’t need a computer.
Being aware of ways to handle talking to someone, we must also focus on warning signs, and not playing them off as “It happens to everyone” or “I’m sure if there was a problem they would talk to me.” Everyone has at some point heeded the warning signs, but brushing up on them from time to time would never hurt.The top warning signs are:
- Talking about having no reason to live
- Withdrawing from hobbies or activities
- Losing in social interests and personal appearance
- Giving away personal possessions
- Having trouble sleeping or eating
- Drastic changes in their normal behavior (this does not just mean depressed)
Knowing the signs and being able to provide information to someone who may not know the different forms of communication they can use, can potentially save someone from going through with suicide.
Helpful Numbers and Links
- National Graduate Student Crisis Line
- 1-800-GRAD-HLP (1-800-472-3457)
- suicidepreventionlifeline.org (for online chatting)
- 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)
- Text HOME to 741741