U-M Counseling and Psychological Services

Thoughts of suicide may occur when stressors exceed the ability to effectively cope, particularly for one who may be struggling with mental health concerns. Depression is the most common mental health concern associated with suicide. It is believed that major life transitions (such as leaving home and family and peer supports to attend college — an unfamiliar environment with higher academic standards) may intensify present psychological distress or trigger new mental distress.  However, other concerns including anxiety, moodiness, and substance abuse can also be related.  The most important characteristic of suicide is HOPELESSNESS. Increased awareness of issues related to suicide, particularly statistics, is a way to engage in suicide prevention and make a difference.  

According to the first National College Health Risk Behavior Survey, 10.3% of respondents reported seriously considering attempting suicide, 6.7% had made a suicide plan, and 1.5% reported they had attempted suicide one or more times in the 12 months preceding the survey. This shows that suicidal behavior falls on a continuum. One aspect is suicidal ideation (thinking about death or killing one’s self), continues with planning and preparing for suicide, and ending with threatening, attempting, and completing suicide.

University of Michigan-Ann Arbor Suicide Statistics:

  • 24% students think about suicide to some degree
  • 42.1% said they had felt so depressed that it was difficult to function at least once during the school year
  • 58% reports sometimes feeling isolated and alone
  • 11.3% said they had seriously considered attempting suicide at least once in the last school year
  • 1.1% said they had attempted suicide at least once

National Statistics:

  • Suicide is the #2 leading cause of death for college students
  • Approximately 1,100 suicides on college campuses per year
  • 25% know of someone who has died as a result of suicide
  • 40% know of someone who has attempted
  • 0.6% of those 18 years and older attempted suicide. 7.5% of those 18-25 seriously considered suicide (American Foundation of Suicide Prevention, 2013)

Given this information, we want you to know about the resources and help that is available to you or someone you know who has thoughts of suicide.