Suicide is the second leading cause of death for college students. The number one cause of suicide for college student is untreated depression.
Going to college can be a difficult transition period for students. They may feel lost, lonely, confused, anxious, and stressed. Studies indicate that college students who are suicidal are quiet, reserved, depressed, and socially isolated.
It is up to all of us to try to identify the warning signs and get help for them. A survey said that 1 in 5 college students say that their depression level is higher than it should be, yet only 6% say that they would seek help.
So if a depressed or suicidal student is withdrawn and is reluctant to get treatment, what will happen? The student may die by suicide. If you see someone that needs help, reach out. Ask how they are doing. Be open and honest. Get help for them and follow up.
If you are trying to help someone who is depressed, you can call 1-800-SUICIDE or go to the school heath facility and ask for assistance. Just make sure that you take action. Suicide is always urgent.
All colleges should have a suicide prevention program. But many don’t, or if they do, the program is inadequate. SWOSU students need to be aware of the warning signs of a suicidal person. SWOSU should also have an active suicide prevention program in place. Weatherford Public Schools do not believe they need a suicide prevention program in place, but SWOSU does. Too many students suffer from depression that could ultimately lead to suicide.
As a SWOSU student has that been closely affected by suicide more than once—it’s not worth the risk.
One life is too many lives.
Risk factors for suicide refer to characteristics that are associated with suicide.
People who are affected by one or more risk factors may have a greater probability of suicidal behavior.
There is no single, agreed-upon list of risk factors; however, some of the risk factors identified by the most recent research include: depressive disorders, substance abuse or dependence (alcohol and other drugs), other disorders (e.g., anxiety disorders, eating disorders), previous suicide attempts, self-injury (without intent to die).
Individual Characteristics include: hopelessness, social alienation and isolation, lack of belonging, anger, hostility, risky behavior, impulsivity, low stress and frustration tolerance, poor problem-solving or coping skills, perception of being a burden (e.g., to family and friends), adverse/stressful life circumstances, interpersonal difficulties or losses (e.g., relationship breakup, dating violence), physical, sexual, and/or psychological abuse (current and/or previous), insomnia and nightmares, family history of suicide or suicidal behavior, lack of parental support, school and community factors, or exposure to media normalizing or glamorizing suicide.
If you know someone you believe is at risk, or who is suicidal on campus, please call SWOSU Police ext. 3111 (campus phones) or 580.774.3111 (off-campus).
By Elizabeth Fuller