According to a study released by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics
on April 22, 2016, suicide rates increased 24% between 1999 and 2014, the highest they have been in three decades. The greatest pace of increase came after 2006, and rates increased for both males and females of all ages 10-74. Females aged 10-14 and men aged 45-64 had the largest percent increases in suicide rates, 200% and 43% respectively. This troubling new data was released just days before the beginning of Mental Health Month, observed each May for over 60 years.
The new CDC report also confirms that “suicide among adolescents and young
adults is increasing and among the leading causes of death for those demographic groups.” Suicide continues to be a major concern on college campuses with issues of contagion and ideation at the forefront of challenges facing suicide prevention specialists. The statistics for college students are alarming:
Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among 18- to 24-year-olds.
One in 10 college students has made a plan for suicide.
There are more than 1,000 suicides on college campuses per year. This is approximately 100 times greater than the average number killed by active shooters on college campuses.
Suicide contagion and clusters are more likely among young people in contained communities such as college campuses.
The rate of suicide is between .5 and 7.5 per 100,000 among college students.
Suicidal thoughts, making plans for suicide, and suicide attempts are higher among adults aged 18 to 25 than among adults over the age of 26.
Thoughts of attempting suicide are reported to occur among 5% of grad students and 18% of undergrads.
Suicide prevention resources, addressing suicide prevention, information for suicide survivors, and help for friends in crisis in addition to other available counseling services, are available. Learn common misperceptions
about suicide and warning signs. Please share these resources, and others, with your campus community throughout Mental Health Month.
Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention: Public-private partnership to advance the national strategy on suicide prevention
American Association of Suicidology: Provides a college and university suicide prevention accreditation program in partnership with the Jed Foundation
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: Raises awareness, funds scientific research and provides resources and aid to those affected by suicide
International Association for Suicide Prevention; A non-governmental organization in official relationship with the World Health Organization concerned with suicide prevention
Jed Foundation: Promotes young adult emotional health and works to prevent suicide
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
SAMSHA: Suicide Prevention: Provides suicide prevention information and other helpful resources to behavioral health professionals, the general public and people at risk
Suicide Prevention Resource Center: Provides specific resources for colleges and universities in this section
of their website.