Suicide on Campus: What Parents Need to Know

by Allison Slater Tate
Originally Published: 

“College freshmen are significantly more likely to report that they are struggling with depression than even their predecessors of just five years ago,” reports Liz Goodwin, and “nearly 94 percent of college counseling directors [have seen] a greater number of students with ‘severe psychological issues.’ … [T]housands of students were hospitalized for psychiatric conditions by counseling centers that same year.”

At Tulane, senior Shefali Arora, 21, who attempted suicide last October, helped grab the attention of university President Michael Fitts by creating a public Google Document for students to share their experiences. The 28-page report is eye-opening and devastatingly painful to read.

“Clearly, it is a pressured time to be an 18-year-old in the United States,” Fitts replied in the document. “There are anxieties about your career, your personal life, that may not have been as true years ago.”

Fitts theorized that the breakdown of religious and family structures and the trend of students attending college far from home might be contributing factors in the rise of depression. Tulane’s students are, on average, farther from home than the students of any other college in the country, according to the article.

Unfortunately, the challenges on campus reflect national issues in accessing affordable mental health resources.

“Obviously, universities are not in a position to provide long-term care for an entire university experience,” said Fitts. “We face the problem that everybody faces, namely the lack of enough mental health professionals and the availability of them.”

Read the entire story at Yahoo! News.

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