In the past year, 13% of University of Arizona students have considered suicide and 1% have attempted it, according to a 2021 survey.
Nationally, suicide is the second leading cause of death among young adults. But in most cases, experts believe it is preventable.
That’s why UA has rolled out a new suicide prevention website in an effort to address mental health issues on campus. The website—preventsuicide.arizona.edu—lists resources available for students and employees struggling with their mental health.
“Thoughtful talking about suicide and suicide prevention is essential. This website is another way to help the campus and community do just that,” said Leslie Ralph, a licensed clinical psychologist who works for the university’s Counseling and Psychology Services.
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“The Campus Health and Counseling and Psychology Services offer a menu of trainings on suicide prevention and mental health and wellbeing, and we saw an opportunity to create an online tool that anyone could use for additional training and support, regardless of their background or experience in suicide prevention,” Ralph said.
The health and economic challenges many people have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic have created mental health issues or exacerbated existing ones.
“Over the past two years, we’ve seen changes in the way students interact with our services and speak out about their concerns,” Ralph said. “Many students have reported that their symptoms of depression, anxiety, or suicidal thoughts felt magnified. We’ve seen it with eating disorders and other mental health issues as well.
Some of the specific information on the website includes information on how to:
Support Survivors of Suicide Attempts and Loss
“Mental health is an integral part of overall health and should be treated like any other health and well-being need,” AU Chairman Robert Robbins said at a press conference on Monday, where he announced the launch of the website. “If you are in need, I strongly encourage you to reach out.”
Students can access mental health support services by contacting Counseling and Psychology Services by phone at 520-621-3334 or online at https://caps.arizona.edu.
Employees can access mental health support services by contacting Life and Work Connection by phone at 520-621-2493 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kathryn Palmer covers higher education for the Arizona Daily Star. Contact her by email at email@example.com or her new phone number, 520-496-9010.