Facing The Facts About Suicide

September 2, 2008

The day after deciding to embark on this journey, the Alive Campaign members knew they needed to be educated on how to help their friend. Baylor Counseling Services and Dr. Susan Matlock-Hetzel helped the group become QPR (Question, Persuade and Refer) certified, equipping them to communicate effectively about suicide with others. The facts below show the importance of the Alive Campaign.

According to the most recent figures from the 2006 Suicide Research Consortium Report and the American College Health Association, suicide is the second leading cause of death among college-aged young adults. Among college students nationwide, 10 percent had seriously considered suicide in the past 12 months, and 1.5 percent of college students reported attempting suicide in the past year. For every student who takes his or her own life, approximately 200 try and fail. Nationally, 40 percent of college students know someone who attempted suicide, and 28 percent of college students know someone who has died by suicide. 

Four out of five people who attempt suicide show clear warning signs. Most people are not aware that suicide claims more American lives each year than homicide or HIV/AIDS. Nearly 1.5 million people attempt suicide each year in the United States, and hundreds of thousands each year are deeply affected by the loss of a loved one to suicide. Despite the scope of the problem, the issue is often shrouded in secrecy. 

Dr. Jim Marsh, director of counseling services, says Baylor professionals are training people to recognize warning signs, respond and get help. Marsh says 325 faculty, staff and students, including Campus Living & Learning staff and resident chaplains, have received QPR suicide prevention training since last September, and Marsh expects that number to more than double in the coming year.

For more information about the Alive Campaign and suicide prevention,visit www.alivecampaign.org.