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Scientific and Technical Writing
Student suicide is a universal social problem. Most universities around the globe face the same challenges as far as student suicides are concerned. However, Stanford University stands a high risk of having incidents of a student suicide on Campus than most universities around the US. Even though the university has put structures in place to ensure that the students mental health is assured, most students do not use these facilities. This results to most psychological distress cases not being detected on time and this may lead to suicide. To prevent suicides the university should employ strategies that will ensure that the student mental distress cases are identified and attended to on time. This paper discusses some of the most efficient strategies that the University can employ to address this problem. They include adopting suicide tailored-made screening programs, employing an integrative approach to the suicide subject; hiring more qualified professional and finally offering special counseling services at the time of crisis. In addition to that, some of the most frequent mental distress conditions that affect students on campus are also discussed in the paper to shed light on the root cause of suicides in campus. They include: Stress, depression, loneliness, feeling of hopelessness, feeling of worthlessness and alcohol and drugs abuse. The paper also discusses a detailed plan that includes training, screening, and recruitment of more professionals as the main strategies of the plan to fully achieve the strategies in place. This will be followed by a follow-up study to determine the effectiveness of the strategy.
AFSP- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
ACHA- American College Health Association
CAPS- Counseling and Psychological Services
LGBT- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender
ASSU- Associated Students of Stanford University SOS- Sign of Suicide
Background of the study 7
Literature Review 11
Proposed Suicide Prevention Strategies 16
Adopt an integrative approach to the subject 16
Application of suicide tailored screening programs 18
Extra counseling services at times of suicide crisis 19
Hire more professionals 20
Needs assessment 20
Table of figures
Figure 1: Suicide Rate per 100,000, Ages 15-24 8
Figure 2: Summary of Mental health statistics at Stanford University as shown by the 10
Figure 3: 12-month prevalence of major depression episode among U.S. Adults (2015) 12
Figure 4: Four distinct stages of stress that may lead to Suicide 14
Figure 5: Alcohol non-traffic (Suicides) is the 5th leading cause of deaths in among campus students 16
Figure 6: Graph representing the cost and expenditure that will be incurred during the execution of the proposal 22
Proposal for Preventing Suicide at Stanford University
IntroductionSuicide has been described using different words by different professionals across the globe. Nonetheless, all these descriptions narrow down to only one description that suicide is an act of one taking his/her life voluntarily or intentionally (Joshi & Billick, 2016). It is important to emphasize that suicide is not an option for escaping the consequences of a persons actions nor is it a choice for surviving because it is fatal. Over the past 10 years the American society has been experiencing a significant increase in the suicide cases among the teenage group of citizens. This increase has also been observed in different universities across the country. Suicide has been determined to be the third leading cause of death among the adolescent and the young adults worldwide (Joshi & Billick, 2016). This makes it a serious public health problem. The US government has funded several studies to try and address this rising social menace amongst its citizens. Suicide is such a delicate topic, and most people would rather avoid it than talk about it freely. It is a social menace that has no boundaries as it cuts across all age groups and social classes alike. Therefore, this phenomenon can happen to anyone. However, statistically, it affects the teenagers than any other age-group in the society. Most teenagers commit suicide because of occurrences in their life that may take them on an emotional roller-coaster (Irwin, Evans & Andrews, 2007). Even though people go through this dark side of life, this phenomenon can be prevented. Suicide is a global problem; Stanford University also faces this threat on day to day basis.
Background of the study A lot of studies have been conducted by several institutions across the United States to establish the rate of suicides and suicide attempts by students at various universities. The most recent study conducted by Emory University discovered that around 34,598 people die by suicide every year in the US. This means that around 94 people lose their lives every day by committing suicides across the country (Suicide statistics, 2016). Among the 34,598 people committing suicide every year in the US are students from various universities across the country. The report goes further to reveal that the rate of suicides among the university students has gone up steadily over the past two decades. This is backed-up by the statistics showing that the rate of suicides as it stands today in universities across the United States is 5 to 7.5 per 100,000 college students (Suicide statistics, 2016). This adds up to more than 1000 suicides recorded across the various colleges and universities every year (Suicide statistics, 2016). The statistics from Emory University is important for this proposal because it expresses the magnitude of loses attributed to suicide in the US thus giving an overview of how severe the situation is. From this statistics, it is evident that the university lose a significant number of students every year to suicides.
Figure 2: Suicide Rate per 100,000, Ages 15-24
More studies have been done by the AFSP in the past two decades since it was formed in 1987. The most recent study has revealed that suicide is the second leading cause of death amongst people aged between 25 and 34 years and the third leading cause of death of individuals aged 15 to 24. In addition to that, the study further reveals that suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts are significantly higher among adults aged 18 to 25 than adults passed the age of 26 (Suicide statistics, 2016). Today the rate of suicide attempts has doubled when compared to the statics attained in 1990 (Suicide statistics, 2016). Considering these facts, most of the students at Stanford University fall in this category age-wise, and that automatically categorizes them into the vulnerable group as far as suicide is concerned.
Streaming down to statistics and facts gathered from universities across US in the recent past; prominent universities across the United States have experienced suicide clusters. Experts have described this situation as an occurrence where a significant amount of suicides occur within a short timeframe (McCarthy, 2016). Some of the most devastated universities as far as this phenomenon is concerned are the New York University that had five student suicides between in the 2003-2004 academic years; Cornell University too had an all-time high. They had recorded six student suicides in the 2010-2011 academic years, and finally, the University of Penn...
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