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About Suicide Prevention
Most people who are suicidal desperately want to live but are unable to find another way to cope with their thoughts or feelings. Almost all college students who die by suicide are suffering from an emotional disorder, most commonly depression. Other emotional problems can increase the risk for suicide too, such as anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, substance abuse or eating disorders.
Identifying and treating these illnesses is especially important because someone with an untreated emotional disorder may be more likely to attempt suicide in the wake of a stressful event such as a death, relationship difficulties or a failed exam.
Know the Warning Signs
The most effective way to prevent suicide is to know the warning signs, take those signs seriously, and respond appropriately. People who are suicidal can be helped with the proper treatment. Common warning signs of suicide include:
- Rage, uncontrolled anger, or seeking revenge
- Acting reckless or engaging in risky activities, seemingly without thinking
- Feeling trapped – like there’s no way out
- Increased alcohol or drug use
- Withdrawing from friends, family and society
- Anxiety, agitation, unable to sleep or sleeping all the time
- Dramatic mood changes
- Expressing no reason for living or no sense of purpose in life
If you witness, hear or see anyone exhibiting the signs above, get help IMMEDIATELY by contacting a mental health professional or calling 9-1-1 or The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK).
Help is available on or around campuses through the following resources:
- Student counseling center
- Student health service
- Resident hall director, dean, academic advisor, tutor, or faculty
- Campus religious or spiritual leader
- Community mental health center
- Local crisis center or hotlines
In an Emergency
If you cannot reach the contacts listed above during a crisis:
- Take the individual to an emergency room or mental health walk-in clinic
- Do not leave the person alone until professional help is with him/her
- Remove any firearms, alcohol, drugs, or sharp objects that could be used in a suicide attempt
The 2014 Jerry Greenspan Student Voice of Mental Health Award is now accepting applications! The honoree will receive $2,000 and a trip to NYC for The Jed Foundation's gala.