Suicide Prevention Resources for College Students
Published on October 12, 2021 · Updated on November 19, 2021
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In 2019, suicide was the second-leading cause of death for teenagers and young adults aged 15-24 in the U.S. While the causes of suicides and suicide attempts in this group vary, research shows that the stress, confusion, and self-doubt that often accompany adolescence may contribute to the risk of suicide among young people.
For college students in particular, academic pressures, mental health conditions like depression and anxiety, and alcohol and drug misuse can further increase this risk.
Experts recommend raising awareness of the risk of suicide among college students, as well as promoting resources like suicide hotlines and online emergency chat services. College students can and should take advantage of mental health services available on campus, such as those offered through the campus counseling center and peer-to-peer counseling.
Below is a list of general suicide prevention resources that both students and those supporting students can use.
Emergency Hotlines and Chat Centers
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Call 1-800-273-8255
This group offers immediate online resources for students and others in crisis, including a free 24/7 phone line, live chat, and an in-person crisis center locator.
This program is the first online crisis center completely managed by volunteers who are trained and certified in crisis intervention.
Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741
Students in the U.S. and Canada can text this number for free to get guidance with any mental health crisis, including thoughts of suicide.
TrevorLifeline: Call 1-866-488-7386
Created by The Trevor Project, this free 24/7 hotline aims to give support specifically to LGBTQ+ youth who may be experiencing mental health challenges. You can also get intervention over text or instant chat.
Visit this site for a full list of suicide hotlines by state.
National Mental Health Organizations and Institutes
A nonprofit, AAS focuses on suicide prevention efforts and offers professional training to suicide counselors and specialists.
AFSP has local chapters all around the country. It offers support services and programs, in addition to hosting walks to promote awareness.
ADAA's mission is to prevent, treat, and cure anxiety, depression, OCD, and related mental health conditions.
With the belief that "student mental health … is the responsibility of higher education," HEMHA partners with organizations and institutions to supply student mental health resources and support.
NAMI is a national mental health organization that provides counseling, healthcare, and crisis intervention services in all 50 states.
An extension of the National Institutes of Health within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, NIMH promotes awareness of suicide prevention through clinical trials and evidence-based research.
Support Services for Students With Mental Health Conditions
Seeking to erase the stigma around mental health-related topics — especially among young people — Active Minds supports students with mental health conditions and can be found on over 800 college campuses.
Those living with depression and/or bipolar disorder can use DBSA's support group locator tool to find a virtual support group.
MHA's peer support center provides information and resources for those seeking support groups and for those interested in becoming peer support specialists.
If you have a mental health condition or symptoms of a mental health condition, you can use this tool to search for free peer-run support groups in your area.
Created by students and for students, this organization aims to raise awareness of the warning signs of suicide and provide peer-to-peer support.
This online component of JED Campus — a suicide prevention program for universities — offers confidential virtual support for students with mental health challenges.
Volunteer Opportunities and Suicide Prevention Education
This organization offers tools and resources to students who have a friend or family member in crisis. You can also volunteer to become a Befriender listener.
Started by a licensed psychotherapist, this in-depth blog openly talks about suicide and research on suicide. It also provides information for aspiring mental health counselors and educators.
This comprehensive resource provides online tips and research that can be used to bolster suicide prevention efforts. It also features information on training events, webinars, and related news.
This group's mission is to cultivate prospective counselors and educators who specialize in youth crisis intervention and suicide prevention.
Resources for Students Who Have Lost Someone to Suicide
This extensive resource for suicide survivors includes tips, tools, training opportunities, and book recommendations.
This group provides multiple forms of support for suicide survivors, including an online community forum, a memorial message board, and real stories from survivors.
AFSP's suicide survivor network maintains a variety of resources, such as a support group finder and book recommendations, for both immediate grief support and long-term self-care.
SAVE maintains a consistently updated list of suicide survivor support groups and offers tools for healing, such as annual events and its Named Memorial Program.
Disclaimer: The above is intended as an information resource only. We are not a medical organization and cannot give medical advice. If you are experiencing a life-threatening situation, seek medical help or dial 911.
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