Shed Stigma to Stop Suicides on College Campuses

Mental health needs on campus are real and serious. They’re also growing, which is why as the first weeks of classes get underway at colleges and universities across the country, institutions are ramping up operations to try to keep their students safe.
The statistics are alarming.
Nearly 31% of students — almost one out of three who sought counseling in the 2013-2014 academic year — have said they seriously considered suicide at some point in their lives. Five years ago, it was 25%,¬† according to the most recent annual report by the Center for Collegiate Mental Health at Penn State.
Equally concerning is the significant increase in the percentage of students who have purposely harmed themselves, such as engaging in cutting, hitting, burning and hair pulling, without intending to kill themselves. Almost 24% of college students who sought counseling in 2013-2014 had injured themselves at some point during their lifetimes compared to 21% five years earlier.
“When you put those two together, what they’re really reflecting is students are more willing than ever to articulate being overwhelmed and to take that out on themselves, either through self-injury or through talking about the possibility of suicide or thinking actively about that and that plays out in all areas of university life,” said Locke, who is also executive director of the Center for Collegiate Mental Health.
Learn about NAMI’s NAMI on Campus program and make a difference at your school!
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