Suicide Among College Students and What You Can Do About It

EntertainmentCulture and Lifestyle
Dec 19, 2019

Suicide takes the second position in the list of the leading causes of death among college students, after vehicular accidents. College life is full of emotional turmoil caused by many circumstances revolving around a college student’s social and academic life . On top of this, it is a huge concern that many of them are not open to others about what their problems are, especially to their relatives for many reasons such as fear of embarrassment, unacceptance, and the likes. Furthermore, living away from home for the first time brings a different kind of loneliness and fear, aside from the worries that every college student has. Suicide and mental health have quickly become two of the most controversial essay topics across the globe. Here are the basic information on suicide among college students.

The harsh truth is suicide among college students , if not due to undiagnosed depression, is often preventable if only those who are closely-related to the victims are open to accept that these students make mistakes, instead of putting pressure on top of other issues being handled by a college student alone. This occurs because parents are unaware of what is going on with their children’s life once they are out and about for college, and college students, bearing the problem of being an almost-adult, often assumes that they cannot share their problems with their family in hopes that they can handle it alone plus the need to justify themselves as independent.

Additionally, the signs of distress shown by many college students are always dismissed as ‘normal’, assuming that it is the usual stress handled by all college students worldwide. Take the Hamilton college student suicide case for instance, the student’s professors and dean knew that the college student is in a dangerous mental and emotional situation, and yet they chose not to inform the student’s parents in consideration of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). As it turns out, the university technically protected the student’s privacy, including the possibility of the student ending his life.

Common Causes of Suicide Among Students

What are the causes of suicide among college students?

The factors of suicide cases among college students vary from emotional dilemmas to mental disorders, making the list contain millions of causes in between. The most common causes of suicide among college students are:

Poor coping skills

Positive coping skills allow people to reflect and feel better by virtue of acceptance, forgiveness, and kindness for themselves, for others, or for specific events that cause distress and other negative emotions. A lot of people find it difficult to forgive themselves whenever they make a huge mistake and end up blaming themselves for something inevitable. They find it impossible to bounce back, leading to a drastic change in their behavior towards themselves which ends to consideration of ending their own lives simply to end the terrible feeling of being at fault.


It still boils down to self-acceptance. College students are prone to challenging themselves to be like someone else, instead of trying to be themselves. This has multiple sub-factors and the first concern is the beauty standards set by the current society and by social media – the primary channel that youth is engaged with.


Aside from the low-key pressure placed by social standards on youth, bullying among college students is still prolific on top of cyberbullying. This issue is closely-linked with perfectionism and poor coping skills. We also cannot forget the fact that college students deal with academic problems by default, hence, adding up stressful factors can really lead to irreversible damage.

Substance Abuse

There is no question about how dangerous drugs can negatively affect one’s mental disposition, primarily the decision-making and critical thinking ability of a person, no matter what age, gender, or ethnicity one belongs in.

Stressful Life Event

Failing a course, fear of disappointing their family and loved ones, committing an error, unwanted pregnancy, traumatic experience – these are just the commonly known issues that can push everyone, including college students, to end their lives. Most of them do not have any solution, but to start over, however, starting over is easier said than done.


Depression is a serious medical condition and it is the leading cause of suicide among college students and youth in general. Depression causes a person the feeling of severe loneliness and worthlessness among others. Consequently, it makes the victim feel the need to end his or her life in order to escape the seemingly inescapable seclusion. Depression can also get worse with a sense of isolation and lack of support.

What are the warning signs for suicidal individuals?

Knowing the difference between warnings signs and usual behavior is of high importance in order to save someone from committing suicide. First and foremost, keep in mind that depression does not immediately show its symptoms in a physical way, but rather, through a person’s behavior. Be cautious of the following characteristics:

1. Total disregard of personal appearance

Wearing the same clothes, disregard of hygiene, unkempt hair and clothing – these are everyday scenarios we see everywhere which we dismiss as normal by simply assuming “meh, he or she might just be having a bad day”. However, take note that this is not normal at all. It is innate to college students to try to look the best they can be everyday since they are trying to fit in. If you see a college student who seems to have completely skipped to look at themselves, try to tell someone who knows them.

2. Joking about suicide

It does not have to be in a serious conversation. Sometimes, those who have thought of suicide can blurt out jokes or random comments regarding taking their own life. For instance, commenting on how much they miss a deceased loved one, or joking about wanting to die for no specific reason. Ask, but be gentle. Being assertive with a belief that dying is no joke can only push away the person.

3. Severe mood swings

Rapid and severe mood swings can be a sign of mental disorder. A victim can show extreme happiness at one point, then present extreme sadness at another – the latter is the dangerous end.

4. Unusual visiting to people

Suicidal people will appear happy once they have decided to take their lives because the feeling of the end of their distress is nearing can alleviate their negative emotions. As a result, they may suddenly decide to show themselves with a happy disposition to loved ones without notice. It could be them bidding farewell, without actually uttering the words.

5. Sudden order of affairs

There are really no serious affairs to be organized for college students, but this warning sign can still be a clue. For instance, you might have noticed that your dorm mate suddenly had his or her stuff in order – sparkly clean or as if a room became empty. People who are suicidal have the tendency to declutter in order to not cause any inconvenience later on.

6. Giving away prized possessions

Did your friend or relative give you his or her favorite perfume, or IPod, or anything that he or she cannot live without? If ever you encounter this, politely ask, and slowly ease into a light conversation and take your chance to say how much you value them. Map out plans for the next few months or even for the next year to subtly affect their decision – remember that your aim is to buy time so they can get the help they need.

7. Obsession with death

Literature, songs, and even drawings that symbolize death indeed symbolizes death so do not take this concern for granted. It is not normal for someone who seems so happy to be obsessed with hobbies that has a strong connection with death. Be sensitive.

8. Having injuries caused by alleged accidents

A burn on thigh or bruise and cuts on the arm are strong signs of suicidal intentions. The victim can make up excuses like getting it from a freak accident such as mistakenly placing a knife on the edge of a counter. You will know if an injury is caused by an accident or if it is caused by self-harm, so stay alert.

What can you do to prevent someone from committing suicide?

There are tons of even more subtle signs of suicidal intention, and all you have to do is be vigilant of the person you feel is in dire need of love and support. It will not help the victim if you decide to take on an aggressive stance against self-harm as it can only widen the gap between you and the person you are worried about. What they need is to feel needed, to feel accepted, to feel loved, and most of all they need to realize, even at a really slow pace, that they need to forgive themselves. If it is you who needs help, know that before someone else can help you, you need to accept that you need help. No, it does not have to be from a psychologist or a professional, not even a priest.

You are you, and you matter.

Do you need an essay about suicide among college students?

Suicide among youth, especially college students, is a popular topic among universities recently due to the disturbing volume of depression and suicide cases. It is given to increase awareness about this social issue, and to ensure that people are well-aware that it is not a joke nor fake news. Let CustomEssayMeister handle your paper on suicide among college students, so you can focus on your other commitments while taking care of your own mental health too. With CustomEssayMeister by your side, you can manage your time better and divide it accordingly among your activities.

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