With the challenges of daily life and college schedules, it has been reported suicide rates have nearly tripled across the country among college students. To help, the University of Nevada, Reno, is hosting a series of events for students during National Suicide Prevention Week.
During the week of September 10 to September 15, a series of events will be taking place to both inform and help students affected by suicide. The university and Counseling Services are sponsoring the events to promote better mental health and to help deal with suicidal thoughts.
Events during this week will include Prevention and Pastries on Monday, Sept. 10, to help students prevent suicide for both themselves and others, “Take5” events on both Tuesday and Thursday to help students destress and “Coping with Suicide Loss” Grief Workshop on Sept. 12, to help students through the grieving process. In addition, Counseling Services will host a “How to Help” suicide awareness workshop on Thursday to help students when a loved one exhibits suicidal behaviors. To finish the week, students can attend Walk in Memory Walk for Hope at 8 a.m. at Idlewild Park hosted by Nevada Coalition for Suicide Prevention.
A study by University of North Carolina at Greensboro professors Deborah J. Taub and Jalonda Thompson found in 2013 that ”suicide is the second‐leading cause of death among college students. College’s stressful environment leaves students more susceptible to choose alternative methods in order to feel better. In addition, USA Suicide 2014 Official Final Data found that Nevada ranked fourth in terms of highest suicide rate in the United States.
Suicide comes in many forms with many companions, one being depression. Depression entails the feeling of extreme sadness, hopelessness, or worthlessness. Some common symptoms include loss of interest in activities they enjoyed before, focusing and concentration becomes more difficult, and sleeping becomes more excessive.
A study in 2009 by the American College Health Association and National College Health Assessment found that,”[in] a nationwide survey of college students at 2- and 4-year institutions…nearly 30 percent of college students reported feeling ‘so depressed that it was difficult to function’ at some time in the past year.”
Another common mental illness linked to suicide is anxiety. Anxiety includes feelings of urgency, paranoia and fear. Students suffering from anxiety worry about not being good enough in their academics, or in social situations. This constant fear leads them towards suicide.
“Among individuals reporting a lifetime history of suicide attempt, over 70% had an anxiety disorder,” said a study by Depress Anxiety. “Even after adjusting for sociodemographic factors…the presence of an anxiety disorder was significantly associated with having made a suicide attempt.”
The Counseling Services feels that suicide can be prevented and encourages students to speak up in the event that someone exhibits suicidal behaviors. Sufferers of suicide often have warning signs, some being self-destructive behavior, self-loathing and looking for ways to kill themselves. In the event of an emergency, the Counseling Services advises to call 9-11 or the University of Nevada, Reno, Police Department Dispatch at (775) 334-COPS immediately.
Taylor Johnson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @NevadaSagebrush.