Special Populations at Risk: College Students

Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for college students.

The Facts

  • Various research has shown that for college students each year:

    • 50% feel so depressed they find it difficult to function at school, and

    • 1 in 10 have considered suicide.

  • Further,

    • 1 in 5 believe their depression is higher than it should be, yet

    • Only 6% seek help.

  • The transition from high school to college is often filled with feelings of loss, lonliness, confusion, anxiety, inadequacy, and stress.

    • Often suicidal college students are quiet, reserved, and socially isolate themselves.

  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) students are at particually extreme risk of suicide.  Learn more by clicking here.

Risk Factors

  • Mental illness including depression, bipolar, and substance abuse.

  • Victim of bullying.

  • Difficult adjustment to college environment, schedule, pressure, and/or lack of social support.

  • Preoccupation with death (including subtle or direct comments about suicide).

  • Past suicide attempts.

Warning Signs

  • Warning signs of suicide by college students are the same as for other adults.  Learn more by clicking here.  However, keep in mind the college student's perspective and specific situation(s) must be taken into account.

What to Do

  • Steps you would take for college students in crisis are the same as for other adults.  Learn more by clicking here.  However, keep in mind the college student's perspective and specific situation(s) must be taken into account.