More people are speaking out about suicide at colleges and high schools. In the past, most adults have been reluctant to talk to young people about suicide, but more effective communication is now understood to be a better means of addressing this major health threat.
- A number of states, including California, New Jersey and Tennessee, require all public schools to develop a suicide prevention strategy.
- Several organizations, such as the Alive Campaign and SAVE (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education), now provide programs and information for schools and colleges.
- A 21-year-old student from Columbia College in Chicago made a film about his experiences with bipolar disorder and suicide attempts, which he now shows to students all over the country.
Suicide is the third leading cause of death among 10 to 14-year-olds in the United States, according to the medical journal Pediatrics. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that 16 percent of young people consider suicide, and nearly 15 percent of teenagers think they are going to die young.
Experts now believe that parents should talk to their children about suicide the same way they discuss other serious issues.