Suicide On College Campuses

Decent Essays

Depression and suicidality are significant problems on college campuses across the United States (Garlow, Rosenberg, Moore, Haas, Koestner, Hendin, & Nemeroff, 2007; Silverman, Meyer, Sloane, Raffel, & Pratt, 1997). According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), suicide is the second leading cause of death on college campuses (National Alliance on Mental Illness [NAMI], 2012). In all, over 1,000 college students die at their own hands each year (Suicide Prevention Resource Center, 2004), and 15% of college students surveyed by the National Research Consortium of Counseling Centers in Higher Education report having considered suicide (American Psychological Association [APA], 2008). In fact, the number of college students experiencing …show more content…

Goldstrom et al. (2006) note that “[m]embership in a group must be voluntary and free” (p. 95). Thus one primary barrier to care for graduate students is eliminated by definition. Graduate students also report stigmatization as a reason for not seeking treatment, and mutual support groups are known to de-stigmatize mental health services. Pistrang et al. (2008) note that groups are “run principally by the members themselves” (p. 110) and Goldstrom et al. (2006) define a mutual support group as “[a] group of people who get together regularly on the basis of a common experience or goal to help or support one another” (p. 95). Thus group members are less likely to feel stigmatized while attending meetings. For example, Davison et al. (2005) researched the use of mutual support groups among people with chronic illness. Davison et al. (2005) state that “having an illness that is embarrassing, socially stigmatizing, or disfiguring leads people to seek the support of others with similar conditions” (p. 213). A case could be presented that students who feel stigmatized by feelings of depression and suicidality may feel more comfortable seeking support from those who have similar ideations, and are in a similar place in life’s journey. Davison et al. (2000) also note the social benefits of mutual support group identification, reporting that “shared stories form a kind of group narrative that constitutes a …show more content…

In fact, I believe that MSW students who participate in a mutual support group throughout the course of a semester will have lower rates of depression than their peers, as measured by their scores on the Beck’s Depression

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