Multiple Suicides in Collegiate Student-Athletes

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It saddens me deeply to hear of several recent suicides of collegiate athletes.  There is a great deal of pressure put on collegiate student-athletes and often times there is not enough support provided to them to assist them in dealing with this pressure.  In a recent conversation with a colleague who is employed at a large university, she informed that the although the student population of the university has grown exponentially over the past few years, funding for the university counseling program has decreased! I’m not a mathematician, but those numbers do not add up!  Now more than ever, young adults are experiencing a high level of stress and pressure and it is so important that we provide support to this population to help them.  I have a hard time understanding why our society does not value mental health as much as they should because there is definitely a large need for it.  

In many of these stories, I hear them say, “the individual had a momentary lapse of judgement” which may be true in some cases but most of the time is not.  Before a person decided to take their life, they have probably been feeling this way for an extended period of time, but the person may not know where to go for help or they may not feel comfortable asking for it because of the stigma against seeking mental health services.  We in the mental health field and society at large, need to make a more concerted effort to reduce the stigma, encourage people to seek mental health services if needed and give them specific resources that are available to them.  One life lost is one too many particularly when this situation can often be avoided.

If you or anyone you know may be considering suicide, please know that there is help available.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones.

1-800-273-8255

Below are some recent articles about suicide in collegiate student-athletes:

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