The Second Leading Cause of Death Among College Students


Refer to the following website:

If you are thinking about harming yourself or attempting suicide, tell someone who can help right away:

  • Call your doctor’s office.
  • Call 911 for emergency services.
  • Go to the nearest hospital emergency room.
  • Call the toll-free, 24-hour hotline of the National Hopeline Network at 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) to be connected to a trained counselor at a suicide crisis center nearest you.

Ask a family member or friend to help you make these calls or take you to the hospital. CSUF is not able to monitor this Web site for crisis messages or make referrals.


If you have a family member or friend who is suicidal, do not leave him or her alone. Try to get the person to seek help immediately from an emergency room, physician, or mental health professional. Take seriously any comments about suicide or wishing to die. Even if you do not believe your family member or friend will actually attempt suicide, the person is clearly in distress and can benefit from your help in receiving mental health treatment.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students -- after accidents. It is a phenomenon that is exceedingly difficult to investigate: because the small or otherwise limited studies that examine college suicide can suggest only some very tentative findings. Despite their limitations, some of these studies make the disturbing suggestion that certain student groups may have considerably higher rates of suicide, and that suicide may be more prevalent among students attending some elite schools in the U.S., England and Japan (For other studies on college suicide refer to: ( ).

Psychosis and depression are risk factors for suicide in college students, just as they are in the general population. Suicide is not more frequent in any of the four years of college, but it does occur more often in students who take more than four years to earn their degrees, in some cases because this group includes many students whose studies were interrupted by serious depression (For more info. on clinical depression visit: mind and mental ).

College students who commit suicide show varied personalities. Most young adults who commit suicide have impulsive, high risk-taking personalities, and the abuse of drugs and alcohol is frequent in this group. In contrast, college suicides are largely depressed, quiet, socially isolated young people who do not abuse alcohol or drugs, and who draw little attention to themselves (For an extensive list of symptoms, visit: .



Return to Top of the Page

Legal Disclaimer

This Website is for general information purposes. It is not a substitute for personal medical advice from a medical professional. The advice presented may not be right for you and should not be relied upon in making decisions about your health. Always consult your doctor for medical advice.

Links to other Web sites are not affiliated with California State University, Fullerton and may or may not express the views of the University. The University cannot verify and is not responsible for the accuracy of any information found on these sites.

CSUF Home Page Contact Us Women's Center About Us Home Human Services link