Understanding suicide and applying current research to prevent college student suicide



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Suicide is a leading cause of death around the world and is on the rise. Suicide is considered to be the second leading cause of death for college students, (Drum, Brownson, Denmark, & Smith, 2009) and the rate of suicide completion is between 6.5 and 7.5 per 100,000 students (Silverman, Meyer, Sloane, Raffel, & Pratt, 1997). Not only are completed suicides an issue on college campuses, but suicidal thoughts and ideation are extremely prominent in this population as well. Approximately 50 percent of college students report having considered suicide at some point in their lives. 18 percent of undergraduate students and 15 percent of graduate students report having seriously considered attempting suicide with 40 to 50 percent of those students reporting multiple episodes of suicidal thought. (Drum et al., 2009). This report will look at the warning signs and risk factors for suicidal ideation and attempts, theories of suicidality, reasons students do not seek treatment, motivations or events that lead to attempting or committing suicide, the most common methods, protective factors against suicide, and finally current and future prevention methods on college campuses.