How do you know when “student stress” turns suicidal?

College can be a stressful time, with busy schedules, deadlines, and new experiences.

The American College Health Association’s 2006 National College Health Assessment indicates that 94 percent of the college and university students surveyed reported that they felt overwhelmed by everything they had to do. Forty-four percent reported that they had felt so depressed it was difficult to function.

And, according to 2004 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people age 18 to 25.

Would you know the warning signs of suicide?

  • Threatening to hurt or kill oneself or talking about wanting to hurt or kill oneself
  • Looking for ways to kill oneself by seeking access to firearms, available pills, or other means
  • Talking or writing about death, dying, or suicide when these actions are out of the ordinary for the person
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Feeling rage or uncontrolled anger or seeking revenge
  • Acting recklessly or engaging in risky activities, seemingly without thinking
  • Feeling trapped, like there is no way out
  • Increasing alcohol or drug use
  • Withdrawing from friends, family, and society
  • Feeling anxious, agitated, or unable to sleep, or sleeping all the time
  • Experiencing dramatic mood changes
  • Seeing no reason for living or having no sense of purpose in life.

If someone you know is showing the warning signs of suicide:

  • Do not leave the person alone.
  • Remove any firearms, alcohol, drugs or sharp objects that could be used in a suicide attempt.
  • Call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255).
  • Take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional. InEastern Wisconsincontact Aurora Behavioral Health Services 1-877- 666-7223.

For more information about treatment for individuals experiencing anxiety, feelings of hopelessness, or thoughts of suicide,  visit the Aurora Psychiatric Hospital website.

Aurora Behavioral Health Services offers complete mental health treatment options, provided by highly trained professionals in a caring, confidential manner to meet individual and family needs.  If you or someone you know needs help, contact us — online or by phone at 1-877-666-7223 — as soon as possible.

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