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Gregory T. Eells, Ph.D., Timothy C. Marchell, Ph.D., M.P.H., Janet CorsonRikert, M.D., Sharon Dittman, M.Div., CHESJuly 26, 2012
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There is growing evidence that more students are coming to Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) with complex mental health challenges. In the National College Health Assessment (2006), 4 in 10 students reported that they were unable to function due to depression, 1 in 10 reported seriously considering suicide, and 1.3% reported having attempted suicide. !e Center for Disease Control’s Youth Risk Surveillance: National College Health Risk Survey reports that more teenagers and young adults die from suicide than from all medical illnesses combined. Even more troubling for IHEs, the suicide rate peaks among young adults aged twenty to twenty-four. A completed suicide is tragic and devastating for family, friends, and the campus community. !e provision of mental health services is an essential component in responding to this reality. Schwartz (2006) in a review of college student suicide in the United States found that counseling centers reduce the suicide rate for the clients they see to one sixth of what it would be if the students were not in treatment. However, even when students are in treatment it is very difficult to predict a specific suicide (Kanapeaux, 2004) and the majority of students reporting the highest levels
of distress do not seek treatment (NCHA, 2006).
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