First Advisor

Tina Burdsall

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Psychology and University Honors




College students -- Suicidal behavior -- United States, Suicidal behavior -- Risk factors, Suicide -- United States -- Prevention, Depression, Mental




Undergraduate college students are a unique at risk population for development of suicidal ideation and depression. Reviews of 36 different university counseling centers indicated an overall increase in risk factors associated with depression and suicidal ideation among college students, including anxiety, eating disorders, fear, substance abuse, alcohol abuse, hostility, and anger (Potter, Silverman, Connorton, & Posner, 2004). Currently, resources provided by university systems to address the increasing prevalence of suicidal ideation and depression symptoms among undergraduate college student population are limited (Potter et al., 2004). The Centers for Disease Control (CDC, 2009) projections predict depression to be the second most prevalent disease burden in the world within the next six years. In order to combat the increasing prevalence of depression and suicidal ideation among undergraduate college students (Pedersen, & Paves, 2014), I suggest universities address the barriers to treatment students face, including negative social stigmas (Ohayon, & Roberts, 2014), availability of mental health care and health care professionals (Potter et al., 2004), as well as implementation of screening measures (Potter et al., 2004). Some may argue that increasing efforts and resources for screening and treatment of depression and suicidal ideation may cost universities' money, but providing preventative care through decreasing stigma, increasing screening efforts, and increasing availability of mental health care to the undergraduate student population I believe the quality of life for the student body will increase, and likeliness of depression and suicide will decrease. I trust most will agree that saving lives and improving psychological well being in undergraduate college students is invaluable.


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