Posted on October 25, 2021 by Christine Crosby in 

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College and Teen Suicide Statistics


The following article comes from VerywellMind.com

College and Teen Suicide Statistics

Information presented in this article may be triggering to some people. If you are having suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 for support and assistance from a trained counselor. If you or a loved one are in immediate danger, call 911.

For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database.

According to the American College Health Association (ACHA), the suicide rate among young adults ages 15–24 has tripled since the 1950s. Suicide is currently the second most common cause of death among college students.1

Young Adult Suicide Statistics

suicideIn a recent study published in Depression and Anxiety of more than 67,000 college students from more than 100 institutions, one in five students have had thoughts of suicide, with 9% making an attempt and nearly 20% reporting self-injury.2 One in four students reported being diagnosed with a mental illness.2

Risk Factors

The primary risk factors that have been identified for teen and adolescent suicide include the following:

Recognizing the warning signs of suicide is one way to protect your teen or adolescent from suicide. According to the Suicide Awareness/Voices of Education (SA/VE) website, the following may indicate that your loved one urgently needs help:

  • Disregard for personal appearance
  • Giving away possessions or getting affairs in order
  • Having several accidents resulting in injury
  • Obsession with guns or knives
  • Poor academic performance
  • Preoccupation with death (such as in music, literature, drawings, or letters)
  • Risk-taking behavior (reckless driving, carelessness around bridges, cliffs, or balconies, or walking in front of traffic)
  • Severe mood swings
  • Statements of hopelessness, helplessness, or worthlessness. (“Life is useless,” “Everyone would be better off without me,” “It doesn’t matter; I won’t be around much longer anyway,” “I wish I could just disappear.”)
  • Self-destructive behavior (alcohol/drug misuse, self-injury or mutilation, promiscuity)
  • Sudden happy or calmer state
  • Talking or joking about suicide (for example, being reunited with a deceased loved one)
  • Unusual visiting or calling people (to say their goodbyes)
  • Withdrawal or loss of interest in activities once enjoyed
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