Depression & Suicide

Facts

7.7% of ASU students reported seriously considering attempting suicide in the past 12 months.

30.5%  reported feeling so depressed it was difficult to function one or more times in the past 12 months.

0.9% reported attempting suicide.

American College Health Association. American College Health Association-National College Health Assessment: Arizona State University Spring 2011. Baltimore: American College Health Association; 2011. (n=1,748)

Mental Health

Mental health is how a person thinks, feels, and acts when faced with life's situations. This includes handling stress, relating to other people, and making decisions.

Depression

Sadness, emptiness, worthlessness and/or loneliness are normal responses to overwhelming or difficult experiences. Depression is characterized by these feelings lasting and/or not improving after a few weeks.

Distress

People experiencing distress are unable to manage their depression or cope with the stress of their situation and may consider or attempt suicide.

Why People Commit Suicide

Suicide is the end of a continuum of stress and depressed feelings. Feeling distressed interferes with problem solving and may lead to thoughts of self harm. People who are suicidal frequently express helplessness and hopelessness regarding their current stresses and their future.

Suicide Risk Factors

  • Sense of isolation
  • Lack of close personal relationships
  • Poor coping skills
  • Impulsiveness
  • Mental illness (most commonly depression)
  • Substance abuse

Addressing the Topic of Mental Health and Depression is Important

The stigma surrounding mental illness and suicide creates a barrier that keeps people from talking about their suicidal feelings. Many people do not tell anyone that they are contemplating suicide. People who identify their feelings and seek professional help are 87% less likely to commit suicide.

Factors that Protect People From Suicide

  • Close personal relationships
  • Strong connections to community and family
  • Problem solving and conflict resolution skills
  • Accessible and effective clinical care for mental, physical and substance use disorders
  • Healthy behaviors such as adequate sleep, healthy eating, and physical activities

Signs of Distress

  • Noticeable changes in behavior or routine, such as sleeping and eating patterns
  • Mood changes
  • Disconnecting from others
  • Substance use patterns
  • Engaging in behaviors that jeopardize health and safety

How to Help a Friend

  • Identify your concern
  • Ask what they are feeling
  • Be curious, not judgmental
  • Ask conversation-starting questions such as “how long have you been feeling this way?” or “how has this affected your daily life”
  • Recommend they seek professional help
  • Let them know you care about them

Depression and Suicide Links

Resources for Depression and Suicide Prevention
Depression and Suicide Prevention Presentations
ASU Mindfulness Workshops

A program of the Living Well Network designed to raise awareness and educate the ASU community about depression and suicide prevention, Campus Care is funded by a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

For more information on Depression and Suicide, please contact wellness@asu.edu