Know the Five Signs
Suicide is the second leading cause of death among persons aged 15-34 years.
Males take their own lives at nearly four times the rate of females and represent 77.9 percent of all suicides. Females are more likely to have suicidal thoughts. Firearms are the most commonly used method of suicide for males (56.9 percent). Poisoning is the most common method for females (34.8 percent). Many people do not ask for help. However, you can help yourself and others by recognizing the five signs of a mental health concern (hopelessness, agitation, withdrawal, poor self-care and personality change). Hopelessness is the best predictor of potential suicide. Depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts are not uncommon in college students. It is sometimes helpful to know that you are not alone.
According to the most recent American College Health Association’s National College Health Assessment, 38.3 percent of males and 50 percent of females reported feeling hopeless sometime in the last 12 months. Fifty two percent of males and 67 percent of females reported feeling very sad, while 42 percent of males and 60 percent of females reported overwhelming anxiety sometime in the last 12 months. About 28 percent of males and 35 percent of females reported being so depressed sometime in the last 12 months that it was difficult to function. About seven percent of males and eight percent of females seriously considered suicide sometime in the last 12 months, and a little over one percent of both males and females had attempted suicide. A little less than eight percent of males and 14 percent of females had been diagnosed or with or treated for depression by a professional.
Many people are afraid that asking about suicide might put the idea in someone’s head. However, that is not the case. If you think someone may be considering suicide based on any of these signs, it is important to ask. Also, if someone is talking about wishing he/she was no longer there, wanting to die or wanting the pain to stop, ask him/her if he/she is thinking about killing himself/herself. You also can reach out for help for you or someone you know by contacting the Counseling & Testing Center on campus or a 24 hour National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.