Why CSU Administrators Are Concerned About Suicide Rates

April 5 2010, 10:33 AM

In one year, nine students committed suicide at Colorado State University. In response, administrators are hiring new mental-health workers and a suicide-prevention coordinator, as well as screening students for depression. "We're not shying away from the conversations," Anne Hudgens, dean of students at Colorado State University, tells 9News. The university will even start tracking data about suicidal students, including their grade point averages, majors, and years in school in an effort to discern any patterns that could help them prevent student deaths. So far, the most likely suicide is a male who shoots himself on or off campus. Suicides among younger demographics are already high in Colorado. Between 2000 and 2007, children ages 10 to 17 logged a suicide rate of 5.2 percent, much higher than the 2.99 percent national rate. In Montrose and Delta counties, the rates climb even higher: 8.6 percent and 15 percent, respectively, reports the Montrose Daily Press. And a 2009 survey of Montrose County District Schools shows that 22 percent of eighth-graders considered suicide and 13 percent attempted it.