Suicide on the College Campus
According to the American Federation for the Prevention of Suicide (AFPS), suicide is the third-leading cause of death among Americans between the ages of 15 and 24, and is the second-leading cause of death - behind only traffic accidents - among college students. In 1998, suicide killed more young adults than AIDS, cancer, heart disease, pneumonia, birth defects, stroke, influenza and chronic lung disease combined.
Common warning signs of depression and suicide
- Sadness or Anxiety
- Feeling guilt, helplessness, or hopelessness
- Trouble eating or sleeping
- Withdrawing from friends and/or social activities
- Loss of interest in hobbies, work, school, etc.
- Increased use of alcohol and/or drugs
- Excessive irritability
- Excessive impulsivity
Specific signs of potential suicide
- Talking openly about committing suicide
- Talking indirectly about "wanting out" or "ending it all"
- Taking unnecessary or life-threatening risks
- Giving away personal possessions
How to Help a Friend
Any talk of suicide by a friend, roommate, or loved one should be taken seriously and help should be sought immediately.
If you notice any of the above warning signs in a friend, roommate, or loved one, there are ways that you can be of help. For example, be honest with them and express you concerns, ask them directly about thoughts of suicide, listen to them and provide emotional support, understanding and patience.
There are also a number of resources listed below that are available for individuals who are depressed and/or having thoughts of suicide.
Websites that contain information, questions, Hotlines, and other resources for suicide prevention
- WISCONSIN Suicide & Crisis Hotlines - Crisis Counselors are waiting for your call.
- MINNESOTA Suicide & Crisis Hotlines - Crisis Counselors are waiting for your call.
- The Jed Foundation is a nonprofit public charity committed to reducing the youth suicide rate and improving the mental health safety net provided to college students nationwide. The Foundation's efforts support a key objective of the Surgeon General's National Strategy for Suicide Prevention, May 2001: by 2005, to increase the proportion of colleges and universities with evidence-based programs designed to address serious young adult distress and prevent suicide.
- Befrienders Worldwide - gives a list of suicide help lines from around the world
Resources & Phone Numbers
- Superior Police - 911
- Department of Public Safety - (715)394-8114
- University Counseling Services - (715)394-8236
- Unified Counseling - 1-800-362-5717
- Suicide Hotline - 1-800-784-2433
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention - 1-888-333-2377
- Resident Assistants & Resident Director's in the Residence Hall's are also a good resource.