The suicide rate among young adults ages 15-24 has triple since the 1950s, with 1 in 12 college students making a suicide plan at some point. It can be difficult to talk about suicide, but knowing common warning signs can help prevent suicide. Here are some of the most common signs of suicide among college students:
- Withdrawal: A friend may withdraw from family and friends; they may talk to friends less or want to hang out less.
- Changes in sleep and appetite: Someone may say that they are sleeping and eating a lot more or a lot less than normal.
- Reckless behavior: The individual may act in ways that could be detrimental or dangerous and they may not seem to care about the consequences of their behavior.
- Personality changes: You may notice that a friend’s normal behavior may shift from very laid back to irritable and short tempered.
- Neglect of personal appearance: A friend may have unusual neglect of their personal appearance or lack of personal hygiene.
- Physical pain: Someone may frequently express difficulty with physical symptoms, like headaches, stomachaches, and fatigue.
- Substance abuse
- Loss of interest: A friend may say they’ve lost interest in activities they normally enjoy or they may drop out of their normal activities, ignore class assignments, and miss classes.
- Sudden mood changes: You may notice your friend expresses feelings of sadness, stress, and hopelessness.
- Giving away belongings: A friend may give away some of their favorite possessions or throw away important belongings.
If you notice any of these signs in a friend, let an RA or faculty member know. In King County, there is a 24-hour Crisis Line available at (206) 461-3222 or you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255.