While many students thrive in their college environments, a significant number of individuals become overwhelmed by the stressors and unfamiliar scenarios that arise during college and emerging adulthood. The subject of suicide is a delicate issue but one that cannot be ignored or hushed, and given the increase in student suicides, discussing the issue is crucial. All students need to be aware of the signs leading to such an extreme and the resources available to those in need.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death in college students, the leading cause of suicide being untreated depression, according to reports by the nonprofit website suicide.org. The difficult transitions students face when first coming to college, in addition to relationship problems, academic issues and other various anxieties in the average student’s life may cause students to feel confused, inadequate, anxious and stressed. These emotions often lead to depression, and when left untreated, can manifest into suicidal behavior.
While some who commit suicide do not show any warning signs, around 75 percent do exhibit at least some. Suicide.org provides a comprehensive list of signs to be aware of, including but not limited to: depressed or sad behavior, talking or writing about death or suicide, withdrawing from family and friends, feeling hopeless, feeling strong anger or rage, a change in personality, dramatic mood changes, abusing drugs or alcohol, a loss of interest in most activities and acting recklessly. For those who exhibit any of the signs mentioned above, it is imperative to seek help immediately.
Although these feelings may not appear worrisome, depression can easily worsen and quickly lead to suicidal thoughts. If depressed, take the initiative to make appointments to see a doctor and a therapist as soon as possible.
San Diego State students can take advantage of the Counseling and Psychological Services department at the Calpulli Center. C&PS is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Students who require immediate psychological help can be seen on an emergency basis by calling 619-594-5220 during business hours. Most students are able to talk with a therapist within 24 to 48 hours of the request.
If anyone knows somebody who could be in immediate danger because of thoughts of suicide, contact the San Diego County Access and Crisis 24-hour hotline at 1-800-479-3339 immediately.
To learn more about depression and suicide, visit suicide.org or the SDSU C&PS website at sa.sdsu.edu/cps.