Higher than expected rate of suicidal thoughts among U.S. college students

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A recent study presented at the 116th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association reported a higher than expected rate of suicidal thoughts among U.S. college students. Out of the 26,000 students that were interviewed, more than half had considered suicide at least once during their lives. Additionally, 15 percent reported having seriously considered suicide and 5 percent had actually attempted suicide at least once. Dr. David J. Drum and colleagues of the University of Texas at Austin suggested that a continuum of help be offered to students, not just when there is a crisis, but at the onset of suicidal thoughts. The following is an excerpt of an article from Medical News Today that reviews the study’s findings:

The results showed that:

* 6 per cent of undergraduates and 4 percent of graduates said they had seriously considered suicide in the last 12 months.

* Based on this proportion, an average college with 18,000 students has over 1,000 undergraduates seriously thinking about suicide at least once during any one year.

* About two thirds of those who think about suicide think about it more than once a year.

* Most students said their episode of suicidal thinking was intense and brief, with 50 per cent lasting no more than a day.

* 14 per cent of undergraduates and 8 per cent of graduate students who had seriously considered committing suicide in the last 12 months had attempted to do so.

* More than 50 per cent of students who had recently experienced a suicidal crisis had not, for several reasons, sought professional help or told anyone about it.

* 19 per cent of undergraduates and 28 per cent of graduates who had attempted suicide needed medical attention. Half of them had tried to kill themselves with a drug overdose.

* Both undergraduates and graduates gave reasons for suicidal thinking in the following order: (1) wanting relief from emotional or physical pain, (2) problems with relationships, (3) desire to end their lives, (4) academic and school problems.

Click here to read the rest of this article from Medical News Today

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