Suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students. It causes immeasurable pain, suffering, and loss to individuals, families, and communities nationwide. Shepherd University is committed to providing students with educational information and resources to help prevent unnecessary loss of life.
If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, reach out for help right away.
Risk Factors for Suicide
Risk factors are often confused with warning signs of suicide. It is important to note, however, that factors identified as increasing risk are not factors that cause or predict a suicide attempt. Risk factors are characteristics that make it more likely that an individual will consider, attempt, or die by suicide.
|Mental Disorders, particularly mood disorders, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders and certain personality disorders||Alcohol and other substance use disorders|
|Impulsive and/or aggressive tendencies||Hopelessness|
|History of trauma or abuse||Major physical illness|
|Previous suicide attempt||Family history of suicide|
|Job or financial loss||Loss of relationship|
|Easy access to lethal means||Local clusters of suicide|
|Lack of social support and sense of isolation||Stigma associated with asking for help|
|Lack of health care, especially mental health and substance abuse treatment||Cultural and religious beliefs, such as the belief that suicide is a noble resolution of a personal dilemma|
|Exposure to others who have died by suicide (in real life or via the media and Internet)|
Suicide Warning Signs
The following signs may mean someone is at risk for suicide. The risk of suicide is greater if a behavior is new or has increased and if it seems related to a painful event, loss, or change. If you or someone you know exhibits any of these signs, seek help as soon as possible by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Never be afraid to call 911 to get someone immediate help!
|Talking about wanting to die or to kill themselves||Looking for a way to kill themselves, such as searching online or buying a gun|
|Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live||Talking about feeling trapped in unbearable pain|
|Talking about being a burden to others||Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs|
|Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly||Sleeping too little or too much|
|Withdrawing or isolating themselves||Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge|
|Displaying extreme resources|
|Berkeley Health Center Emergency Psychiatric Services||304-350-3338 — 24 hour emergency line|
|EastRidge Health Systems||304-263-8954 or 855-807-1258 — 24 hour emergency line|
|Shepherd University Counseling Services||304-876-5161 — available Monday – Friday, 8 am – 4:30 pm|
The links below will provide you with resources and additional information on suicide and prevention:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
National Institute of Mental Health/Suicide Prevention
SAVE (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education)
Suicide Prevention Resource Center