Coping with Suicidal Ideation in College: Tips From a College Student

September 28, 2023

By Mary Connolly

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for college students, and youth and young adults have the highest rates of emergency room visits for self-harm.

26% students think about suicide to some degree, and at-risk groups reported significantly greater suicidal thoughts. For transgender and nonbinary students, this rises to 64%. For students with financial stressors, this rises to 37-40%.

If you are struggling, utilize your college's resources. Many colleges and universities offer low-cost or free therapy services, as well as workshops and group counseling. On-campus student mental health groups, such as NAMI and Active Minds, can also provide peer support and help direct you towards on and off campus resources.

Take care of your mental heath before a crisis arises. It is always important to prioritize caring for your mental health.

In my first month of college, I’ve already seen how easy it is to neglect self care and healthy coping mechanisms by isolating and overworking yourself. It can be difficult to put yourself out there, but finding community is key to taking care of your mental health.

If you see your friends struggling, the first step is simply starting an open conversation with your friend, and helping them find support. Colleges have been changing the conversation around mental health by working to end the stigma and encouraging schools to provide support.

For example, many colleges, including my own, have begun to offer mental health workshops during orientation. Not only does mental health education reminds those who are struggling that they’re not alone, it teaches students how to see the signs of suicide and seek support for themselves or friends.


NAMI has on campus & online resources

• NAMI Hotlines:

• Call 800-950-NAMI

• Text NAMI to 741741

ADAA: Offers free peer support and online communities

Active Minds: national network of student mental health advocacy

Jed Foundation: online resource center with mental health tools