Experts Urge Universities to Make Suicide Prevention Classes a Requirement

BY DAN WANSER

College students are struggling with depression, suicidal thoughts, and other mental illnesses at alarming rates.

According to American Health Association data, 63% of college students have reported having serious episodes of sadness. More than 34% of students have said they have felt too depressed to function. About 86 percent of students have said they feel overwhelmed by all of their responsibilities and about 59 percent said they feel “very lonely” at times. On top of these statistics, over a one-year period, about 9 percent of college students had “Seriously considered” suicide, 6 percent are engaged in self-harming behavior, and 1.4 percent attempted to commit suicide.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students. This is why many mental health experts are calling for colleges and universities to make suicide prevention classes a requirement for its students.

Students across Temple University seemed to agree that these classes would be a step in the right direction.

Shane McGinley, a junior education major, thinks there are a lot of reasons these classes would be useful.

“There’s a lot of things that occur in college that could spur up these feelings for the first time,” McGinley said. “The first time someone has truly failed, or the first time a student has a serious breakup – It’s definitely a big issue and something we shouldn’t overlook.”

Other students like Luke Burdsall, a senior media studies and production major, think that there isn’t really a downside to the idea.

“I think if it was a credit course and you had to take it as a one-credit class I think it would be very beneficial,” Burdsall said. “I think going through it as a team instead of going through it alone is a much better idea”

If you or someone you know needs someone to talk to or is in crisis for any reason please visit Tuttleman Counseling Services at 1700 N Broad Street or call the office during normal business hours (8:30am-5:00 pm Monday through Friday) at 215-204-7276. If you require immediate help or attention outside of these hours, contact Temple’s Crisis Response Center at 215-707-2577 or dial 911.