Growing up, I always knew that I would be going to college. I might have an option not to go, but it was never evident to me. College was always the ultimate goal, that was set for me by my parents. Now that I'm in college, for my major of choice, I realize that I need to go on to get my masters, and possibly my Ph.D. or Psy.D.
When college life is portrayed in the media, it's focus is mainly on these things: parties, hook-ups, and drinking. While that is a big part of college life and something a lot of us enjoy, there're some aspects of college that I feel the media doesn't talk about as much as they should. Suicide in college students.
In high school, we were warned that college wouldn't be as easy. No one told us about the mental stress that comes with it, though. It saddens me that in college, we're told how smart we are based on a number and a letter grade. Don't get me wrong, I'm loving my college experience so far, and all the new doors I got to go through that I wouldn't have if I never attended OW, but in my opinion, something has to change. Students shouldn't have to push themselves so much that in some cases they can't take it anymore, and feel as if the only way out is committing suicide.
Active Minds, a nonprofit organization is "changing the conversation about mental health" and is dedicated to raising awareness to mental health among college students, and on college campuses. Here are some statistics according to the issue and resources part of their website:
- Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among college students, claiming the lives of 1,100 students each year.
- 67% of college students tell a friend they are feeling suicidal before telling anyone else.
- More than half of college students have had suicidal thoughts and 1 in 10 students seriously consider attempting suicide. Half of students who have suicidal thoughts never seek counseling or treatment.
- 80-90% of college students who die by suicide were not receiving help from their college counseling centers.
Mental health issues are existent in college students and can affect a student's ability to succeed. In comparison to older adults, individuals who are between the ages of 18 to 24 do not seek counseling or treatment. Students reported that they often felt very depressed and had difficulty functioning. Mental health issues in college students can result in a poor GPA which results in the drop out rate to increase.
If you or someone you know are feeling suicidal call 1-800-273-TALK (8255), the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. This service is available 24/7 to anyone who needs assistance.