(THE PICKET) – Suicide is the second highest cause of death among college students, yet few students say they would seek help for depression.
According to Suicide Prevention, Awareness and Support, one in five college students say their depression is higher than the norm, yet 6 percent said they would seek help.
Meanwhile, death by suicide has steadily increased in the U.S. from 2000-2013, according to a fatal injury report compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Behavior is a difficult thing to predict, and because of this it becomes difficult to predict who will do what,” said Dr. Anne Murtagh, a psychology professor at Shepherd University.
Sometimes, it can be difficult to identify those who are at risk of committing suicide. However, while some individuals do not show any signs that they are contemplating suicide, there are signs that are commonly displayed by most of these individuals. According to the Suicide Prevention Resource Center, some of the signs to look out for include sudden mood changes, social withdrawal, talking about suicide, recklessness, agitation, insomnia and substance abuse
Murtagh said that while certain resources are great for advocating positive mental health in general, it is even more to target this specific population. One of the ways to do this is by reaching out to those who appear to be at risk, and are displaying these signs.
The aftermath of a suicide can have powerful, long-lasting effects on loved ones and the entire community.
“When a loved one commits suicide, it is natural for family members and friends to feel a mixture of emotions including grief, anger, sadness and confusion,” Murtagh said.
“Suicide affects more than just the victims of family and loved ones-it’s an emptiness that
can be felt by the entire community,” said Shepherd student John McCarrick. “I’ve known two people that have committed suicide, and several who have thought about it or even attempted it. Too many times good people have ended their own lives too soon because they believed they had nowhere else to turn. People need to know that there are resources available-the National Suicide Hotline, Shepherd’s therapists in Gardiner Hall, the Shepherdstown Police Station, hospitals, and friends and family.”