right arrow
Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
We’ve got a new look! Walk through the key updates here.

Suicide on College Campuses

yellowgranite56yellowgranite56 286 replies37 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 323 Member
I was disturbed to hear that two students at Vanderbilt committed suicide in the past week (and one earlier in the year). Before this year, it had been a decade since a student last killed themselves. These students are top students in high school and then come to college and have to work harder than they ever had to and maybe not get straight As anymore. One of the students this week was very outgoing, had many friends, one would never know anything was going on with him. Is this common on college campuses and we just don't hear about it most of the time?
32 replies
· Reply · Share

Replies to: Suicide on College Campuses

  • julianstanleyjulianstanley 323 replies32 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 355 Member
    edited April 2016
    Although I can't dismiss that suicide rates are higher on college campuses, I feel obligated to mention the risk of mis-attribution. US's suicide rate is around 21/100000. With an undergrad pop of around 20 million, we could easily expect 200 college students to kill themselves per year (if my math works?)

    Not refuting your point -- it definitely seems valid-- but I wonder if suicides at high-stress schools are reported more often
    edited April 2016
    · Reply · Share
  • Sportsman88Sportsman88 1571 replies13 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,584 Senior Member
    Suicide is a problem in America that in general is not discussed, except for easily identified groups such as veterans or military. Yes, the ratio may seem low but we need more resources. I believe in suicide prevention training not just to inform bystanders, but because if done properly it can encourage those who are struggling to seek help.
    · Reply · Share
  • kiddiekiddie 3259 replies209 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,468 Senior Member
    U Penn has had 10 suicides in three years - one just a few weeks ago. I think that between the pressures of these years and the increase in social media this is an unfortunate consequence. In general, US suicide rates are up at all ages but in particular these teen-young adult years http://www.cnn.com/2016/04/22/health/suicide-rates-rise/
    · Reply · Share
  • carolinamom2boyscarolinamom2boys 6891 replies223 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 7,114 Senior Member
    I'm not sure if they are happening more or we are hearing about them more, but it's important to realize that mental illness typically begins to appear in early adult years . There may be signs, but in the case of more serious disorders involving psychosis with hallucinations, the first episode may result in suicide. That's why it's important to take note of changes in behavior . Pay attention to length of time of these changes. Are people sleeping more or much less than usual? Increased irritability or isolation? More elated or driven than usual ? Eating more or less than usual? Usually these symptoms are nothing when isolated , but when they show up together or last for more than several weeks, they should be evaluated . @MaineLonghorn I am very sorry about your nephew.
    · Reply · Share
  • scout59scout59 3466 replies67 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,533 Senior Member
    Actually, there has been a steady rise in suicide since 1999. Suicide is now the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S.

    From the CDC:
    The age-adjusted suicide rate in the United States was 24% higher in 2014 than in 1999, and increases were observed for both females and males in all age groups under 75.

    · Reply · Share
  • NEPatsGirlNEPatsGirl 2844 replies106 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,950 Senior Member
    @MaineLonghorn, what a terrible thing to go through. So sorry.
    · Reply · Share
  • msteemstee 3081 replies55 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,136 Senior Member
    So sad. A dear friend's son is headed off to Vandy next fall, so reading this gave me pause, only because the school mentioned this time is Vandy.

    A sobering reminder as some of my friends and I are sending our youngest ones, our babies, out there to college. Finally emptying the nest. Such an exciting time. And yet, it can be so hard. Too hard, sometimes.

    I know this can happen anywhere. At high stress schools, or low stress, as in the case of @MaineLonghorn's nephew. So very sad. Very sorry, @MaineLonhorn, about your loss. No signs. How devastating that must be. Some people hide their pain from their loved ones very well.

    I didn't realize that suicide rates had increased so much just in the past 20 years (@scout59). Any thoughts as to why this is?
    · Reply · Share
  • Much2learnMuch2learn 4607 replies167 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 4,774 Senior Member
    @julianstanley "US's suicide rate is around 21/100000"

    I am not familiar with that statistic, but 21/100,000 = 210/1,000,000 = 2,100/10,000,000 = 4,200/20,000,000

    So 4,200 per 20,000,000 students if your statistic and data are correct.
    · Reply · Share
  • SouthFloridaMom9SouthFloridaMom9 3416 replies30 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,446 Senior Member
    I just read a really sad story about a student from UF in 2011. :( He had gotten caught up in a DEA raid. Horrible.
    · Reply · Share
  • thermomthermom 459 replies9 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 468 Member
    @MaineLonghorn So sorry for your loss. :(

    I do think we hear about these cases more now with the 24hour news cycle and social media, although I remember hearing whispers about Cornell and the gorges back when I was a HS student in the 80s.

    I have read (maybe it was in that recent Atlantic piece?) that suicides may "cluster" because hearing/knowing about one can plant the idea in a vulnerable person's head as an option. Sad to think about.

    I also can't help but wonder if the mass sleep deprivation so common among students doesn't leave them at higher risk these days. I mean, we all pulled the odd "all nighter" in my day, but the crazy schedules kids are running today boggles my mind and it's not uncommon to hear about students regularly surviving on way too little sleep. That has to mess with your judgment and emotional balance.
    · Reply · Share
  • MidwestDad3MidwestDad3 2172 replies14 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,186 Senior Member
    @julianstanley. College students are in a fairly narrow age & SES bracket, particularly at the elite colleges. It is misleading to compare the proportion to the rate of incidence among the entire US population.

    Also, there is a cluster effect in suicide, which hits high schools and colleges particuarly hard.
    · Reply · Share
  • SouthFloridaMom9SouthFloridaMom9 3416 replies30 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,446 Senior Member
    I'm so sorry for your family's loss too @MaineLonghorn. How devastating. :(
    · Reply · Share
This discussion has been closed.

Recent Activity