Suicide: Just talk about it

The second leading cause of death in college students is suicide, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). More people die per year from suicide than from homicide. These words have been known to disturb people or cause doubt to the validity of its nature due to the cultural and societal values placed on suicide. Suicide is very real, and college campus students have attempted suicide- 1,100 this past year. We, the people of the Arkansas Tech University campus, need to talk about this. “Suicide prevention is everyone’s business,” Theresa Sharpe, PhD., licensed psychologist, said. “I think there can be a tendency, especially with people close to us, to tell ourselves ‘Oh, that person is just going through a phase but they’re going to snap out of it’.” Not everyone is just going to “snap out of it.” Let’s break down the facts and have an open discussion about this. According to the Suicide Prevention Resource Center, 6 percent of undergraduate and 4 percent of graduate students consider suicide. There are approximately 12,000 undergrad students on the Tech campus so that would mean at least 720 students consider suicide. There are approximately 900 un
dergrade students on the Tech campus so that would mean at least 36 consider suicide. This means 750 Tech students consider suicide during college. Let’s break that down further. There are 54 buildings on campus but let’s only count the ones that hold class, which is approximately 20. In those 20 classroom buildings there are approximately 40 students in each building that have attempted suicide. Even if there are 100 classes, that’s one student out of every two classes. Let’s begin to open up dialogue and have serious conversations with family, friends, classmates, teachers, anyone we can be open and honest with. Let’s break that down one last time. Of the 1,100 students that attempt suicide, 80 percent were men, 20 percent were women (LGBTQ breakdowns of suicide do not have enough data for SPRC to report appropriately). Among college students: Caucasian, male students have the highest suicide rates; Native Americans are the second highest; Asian Americans have the highest suicide rate among women; African American women have the lowest suicide rate but their rate of suicide is growing faster than any other ethnicity. Suicide is not about who is right and who is wrong, it’s about having people
who are willing to listen and be there for someone who is having suicidal thoughts because depression is the number one cause of suicide in college students. The Tech Counseling Services help with many issues that students face including, but not limited to, depression, anxiety, anger, loneliness, relationships (parents, spouses, partners, friends), crying, eating too much or too little, test anxiety and procrastination. They also offer many resources to students, both on-campus and off
campus. On-campus resources include 10 free sessions per academic year for enrolled students, free mental health screening (which can be found at www. and workshops for groups or classes. If you or someone you know may be considering suicide or are facing other mental health issues contact the counseling services at 479-968-0329 or go online to its Tech website to make an appointment or to access off-campus resources