Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

Statistics You Should Know About College Depression

diploma.jpgSince it is going back-to-school season, I thought I’d educate you on some alarming statistics about depression among college students. Here are the facts, just the facts:


* One out of every five young people and one out of ever four college students or adults suffers from some form of diagnosable mental illness.

* About 19 precent of young people contemplate or attempt suicide each year.

* Suicide is the third leading cause of death among people ages 15-24, and the second leading cause of death in college students ages 20-24.


* Over 66 percent of young people with a substance use disorder have a co-occurring mental health problem.

* Teens diagnosed with depression are five times more likely to attempt suicide than adults.
* Over two-thirds of young people do not talk about or seek help for mental health problems.

* 44 percent of American college students reported feeling symptoms of depression.

* From 1980 to 1986, the suicide rate for African-American males ages 15-19 increased more than 100 percent.

* Four out of every five young people that contemplate or attempt suicide exhibit clear warning signs.

* 80-90 percent of people that seek the necessary form of mental health treatment can function the way they used to.

* Stereotypes are one of the largest barriers preventing young people from seeking the help they need.


* An estimated 5 million young females suffer from eating disorders each year, and eating disorders are the deadliest mental illness, claiming more lives than any other illness.

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  • Michael

    A girl hung herself in her dorm room during my freshman year of college. I didn’t know her, but remember hearing about it and thinking how depressed she must have done.

  • Hilary Smith

    Thanks for the stats—I reposted part of this article on my blog, with some discussion :)
    I wish we lived in a culture in which depression/bipolar/schizophrenia weren’t some big secret that takes you by surprise in your early twenties. Going through some form of mental distress in college is so, so common…everyone should learn about ways to deal with it and understand it before it even happens. Education! Awareness!
    OK, I’m done.

  • Sue

    We had to pull our son out of college during his first semester of college. What we thought were “typical freshman” issues (and a few, like time management problems, were) snowballed into full blown depression with massive panic attacks, bouts of sobbing alternating with bits of angry behavior. Where had our happy son gone? It’s almost a year later and he’s still not back in school but thankfully he’s SO much better (though he’s moved to the other side of the country). He’s trying to figure out what he needs in life, and I don’t think he’ll go back to school now until he really sees it as a really useful stepping stone in his life journey. Looking back, I’m convinced that the depression path actually started his junior or senior year in high school and just came to a massive head once in college. I so wish we had paid more attention earlier. We would have done so many things differently. It’s hard to know what is “just teen stuff” and what is depression….but I encourage all parents to really pay attention and seek out help if you’re remotely concerned. Even if it is “just teen stuff,” all of the depression fighting tools can’t hurt and the help you find just might be a life saver.

  • Bob

    Check out a community that’s specifically for college-age young adults who are addressing mental health issues
    (No parents please!). Join the conversation. Thanks for this information.

  • leroy

    stress is commmon to me ever day i dont know how to use it for good but it mealts away every day

  • Mashareddik

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