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Study: Many College Students Have Suicidal Thoughts

Posted by Chrissie Cole
Tuesday, August 19, 2008 7:56 PM EST
Category: Major Medical
Tags: FDA & Prescription Drugs, Teenagers, Suicide, Protecting Your Family, Suicidal Thoughts, College Students


IMAGE SOURCE: © iStockphoto / teens / author: Diane39

Many college students in the U.S. become so overwhelmed at some point they have considered suicide, according to a study by the University of Texas.

The findings were based on an Internet survey of suicidal experiences and behaviors among college students, conducted in the spring of 2006, by The National Research Consortium of Counseling Centers in Higher Education.

Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death for youths ages 10 to 24.

The study included 26,000 students from 70 colleges and universities across the United States and found that slightly more than half of students had considered suicide once in their life. While about two-thirds considered suicide more than once over a 12-month period.

15 percent of college students seriously contemplated suicide, usually for about a day. And 5 percent of college students attempted suicide over the past year.

The main causes for suicidal thinking fell into one of the four following categories, according to students – relief from emotion and/or physical pain; relationship problems; a desire to end their lives or problems with academics or school.

The traditional model of helping students in crisis isn’t working effectively based on the fact that so many young people have at one time or another considered suicide, but failed to seek help, said researchers.

Researchers suggest it may be more beneficial to educate students that any suicidal thoughts and behaviors are a serious problem that requires attention to help reduce the number of suicides.

Moreover, they said, the problem is too big for college mental-health counselors to handle alone. Parents, administrators and faculty, and student leaders need to work together to help students when they become distressed. Which would help to lower the average of students who engage in suicidal thinking and who have attempted and continue to attempt taking their own life," said David J. Drum, PhD.

The study findings were presented this week at the American Psychological Association Annual Conference in Boston. #

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