5 Factors Contributing to High Student Suicide Rate

Statistically, around 1100 students commit suicide on college campuses around the world annually and around 26% of students have thought about or considered suicide. It has became a serious issue and we have to look into the potential factors contributing to the student suicide rate increasing.

Most college students need to read the factors in order to process their actions and ask for help instead of taking the final step.

Are Suicide Rates Increasing?

Unfortunately, YES. Suicide is one of the leading causes of the death among college students. Within the past years, the student suicide rate is alarming and it raised questions about the education system which failed to facilitate the students and pushed them into such despair.

A national survey was conducted among 520,000 graduate and undergraduate students and it was discovered that:

28%Students reported intentionally injuring themselves.
15%Studenst reported having suicide ideas and thoughts. 
6%Students planned a suicide
2%Students attempted suicide.

Why it’s Important to Talk About Student Suicide Rate?

The writer discovering the factors contributing to student suicide shared, “I have seen my friends struggling with suicidal thought and I myself was depressed enough to consider it as last option. But I learned that living is better than dying for something. Students killing themselves is common but it’s time to step up and look for the reason behind it instead of blaming the students parents and the failure.”


5 Major Factors Contributing to Student Suicide On the Rise

College life is one of the best transitioning phases of a student’s life. It changes the dynamics and the nature of experiences that students go through in academic institutions. Aside from all the fun activities college offers, the academic stress and pressure continue to hunt students and take away their will to live.

It is one of the biggest challenges in college, and the peaking teen suicide rates of students are alarming. Instead of asking are suicide rates increasing, it’s time to find answers to why it is increasing. In the below section, we are going to discuss the factors that contribute to the high student suicide rate.

Lack of Mental Health Support

According to a survey of U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4 in 10 students have reported persistent hopelessness and sadness and 29% of all respondents suffered from poor mental health. Let’s take a look at potential reasons for that:

  • A big reason of suicide rates in youth is that they are immature and at the ideal level of mental vulnerability.
  • The irony is that countries with high suicide rate have no or less mental health support.
  • Since they are going through a new phase of life, it’s normal for them to face disappointments and failures.
  • Colleges and academic institutions do little to cater to students’ stress and mental illnesses, and this arrogance will further worsen the mental state of the student.
  • The lack of mental and moral support will plant that failure in the student’s mind and remind them how much of a disappointment they are.
  • With no one to speak about their mental health, students are more likely to consider suicide as their last resort.

Mental Disorders

Most studies agree that student and teen suicide rates are closely linked with the growing mental disorders. In a National Education Association survey of 90,000 US students, 44% reported suffering from depression and 37% experienced anxiety.

  • Leading mental disorders to suicide are depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and intense social isolation.
  • Personality disorders like borderline personality disorder and antisocial disorders are also bigger contributors to the peaking college student suicide rate.
  • Suicides caused by Schizophrenia might be lower than other mental illnesses, but it does a lot of damage to student’s mental health and suicidal thoughts.
  • Such mental illnesses might not be directly linked to academics, but the constant academic pressure does aid in strengthening these disorders.

History of Self Harm

  • Studies show that most students who commit suicide have a history of self-harm and have many previous suicide attempts.
  • According to the statistics of National Center for Biotechnology information and National Library of Medicine, 25 to 33% of all cases of suicides have a history of previous suicide attempts and self harm.
  • Such habitual suicidal thoughts get worse when college life starts because it is filled with new challenges.
  • Self harm is directly related to high student suicide rate.
  • Students with previous history are more likely to commit suicide regardless of the academic pressure because they are emotionally vulnerable.

Family Pressure and Stress

According to a survey, Family conflicts contribute in student suicide rate and mental health downfall by 33%. That’s why family conditions play an important role in college students mental health issues.

  • Family’s financial instability and overall family environment affect a student’s academic performance on a daily basis.
  • The family might be physically or verbally abusive, and the environment of the home is toxic; all of these factors will cause the student to develop mental stress, anxiety, eating disorders, and suicidal thoughts.
  • The fear of disappointing one’s family contributes significantly to the higher college student suicide rate.
  • Studies have shown that most of the mental disorders in students are developed from their childhood, the behaviors they observed, and how they were treated.

Specific Life Events

Student suicide rate increases due to some specific life events that happened in college life. Since college is a grand transition in life, there could be many things the students can’t get adjusted to, like demanding studying schedules, unavailability of college dorm essentials, dating, new people, and new places.

Events or Reasons of Student Suicides

Academic Pressure26%Fear of failure in exams, high competition takes away their will to live.
Family Problems33%Family pressure and high expectations pushed them into mental strain.
Psychological Issues10%Students are prone to psychological issues since they are emotionally immature.
Teacher-Student conflicts16%Getting humiliated by the professors pushes students into embarrassment so hard that they kill themselves.
Romantic Disputes5%Break ups, affairs, fights with partner, and failure in romantic relationships cause high student suicide rate.
Bullying4%Students can’t put up with physical, verbal, and psychological bullying in college.
Others6%Peer pressure, unrealistic expectations, and constant struggle to be someone they are not, are some other reasons for high student suicide rate.

Solutions Psychologists Suggests For Higher Student Suicide Rate

Developing Life Skills

Ken Hodge who has a Sport and Exercise Sciences PhD and Steven J. Danish, who is a Psychologist, talked about the framework of life skills and their importance.

Students need to develop a comprehension approach to life and indulge themselves in learning life skills like networking, social connection, having healthy hobbies, involvement in healthy sports, and adopting help-seeking behaviors. Here are few life skills that students needs to improve:

  1. Problem solving
  2. Critical thinking
  3. Communication skills
  4. Decision making
  5. Creative thinking
  6. Interpersonal relationship skills
  7. Self awareness building kills
  8. Coping with stress

Creating Social Relationships

Debra Umberson and Jennifer Karaz Montez from University of Texas at Austin talked about the importance and impact of social relationships.They suggest that students should create more social behaviors and increase their interaction with people.

It’s always helpful to maintain healthy mental health practices if students have someone to share their worries with and speak about their problems. In many cases, ithelped a lot in lowering student suicide rate. Here is how you can create social relationships:

  1. Make yourself available
  2. Attend social events
  3. Develop your communication skills
  4. Built trust
  5. Show up for others so they can show up for you.

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Meet Basic Needs

Researchers Peter C. Britton, Kimberly A. Van Orden, Jameson K. Hirsch, and Geoffrey C. Williams published a paper that proves that fulfilment of basic needs lowers suicidal thoughts.

Failure to meet basic needs lead to high student suicide rate. Most students develop mental health issues because they are stressed about their basic needs. That’s why it’s essential for students to meet their basic needs.

The academic institutions and government can also facilitate them to make education affordable for them. Here are the basic needs of students:

  1. Finance and budget
  2. Accessibility
  3. Health and wellness
  4. Housing
  5. Food
  6. Transportation
  7. Dependent care

Providing Opportunities to Speak

To control student suicide rate, Psychologists suggest that academic institutions and the government need to invest in organizing mental health awareness seminars, to stop bullying in colleges, and related programmes to let the students speak more about her mental health and life issues. Schools can help in improving student’s mental health by:

  1. Conduct Counseling classes
  2. Organize Mental Health Seminar
  3. Speaking to them privately

Enhancing Interpersonal Skills

According to the personality theory by Harry stack sullivan, student suicide rate will be in control if students are taught how to enhance their interpersonal skills and improve them in order to handle their personal and professional relationships. It will help them speak about their mental health even more. Here are some important interpersonal skills to improve:

  1. Communication
  2. Empathy
  3. Emotional Intelligence
  4. Negotiation
  5. Conflict Resolution
  6. Team work
  7. Positive attitude

Emotional Support Skills

Using the famous James lange theory of emotion, to tackle student suicide rate, there is a need to improve their emotional support skills. The academic institutions and the instructors need to encourage students and closely notice their emotional state. Students should be heard and allowed to speak about their emotional vulnerabilities. It will help lower the suicide rates in youth. Here are some emotional support skills:

  1. Be empathetic
  2. Connect and listen
  3. Give yourself reassurance
  4. Give compliments to yourself
  5. Believe in yourself
  6. Ask Questions regarding whatever make you curious
  7. Ask for what you need
  8. Check-In After
  9. Self care instead of self harm

Resource That Might Help You

If you are struggling, you can use the platform 7cups.com. There you will get caring listeners and get free emotional support. You can talk about your psychological issues and get someone to listen to you without judging you.

Countries with High Suicide Rates in 2024

CountryRegionSuicide Rate 
LesothoSouthern Africa72.4
GuyanaNorthern Mainland of South America40.3
EswatiniEastern Region of South Africa29.4
South KoreaEastern Asia, Southern Half of Korean Peninsula 28.6
KiribatiIsland Country in Oceania, Central Pacific Ocean28.3
MicronesiaIsland Country in Micronesia, A Subregion of Oceania28.2
LithuaniaBaltic Region of Europe26.1
SurinameThe northeast coast of South America25.4
RussiaEastern Europe and Northern Asia25.1
South AfricaSouthernmost region of Africa 23.5

Data Source: World Population Review

Attention To All Students!

You are worthy of living a beautiful life and achieving more significant things. A failure and rejection doesn’t define your self worth and who you really are. Do not let despair take over you.

Let education make you grow instead of letting it kill you. If academic pressure is increasing, get help from assignment writing services and share your daily study burden with us.

To Sum Up

The student suicide rate is increasing at an alarming rate. Some of the most potential factors contributing to it are the specific life events, mental disorders, history of self harm, lack of Mental support, and family pressure. The government and educational system need to understand these factors and take preventive measures to save more lives.


The most potent risk factors regarding students suicide rate are depression, mental disorders, abuse, isolation, bullying, stressful life events, exposure to violence, history of self-harm, and previous suicide attempts.

Students who are constantly facing abuse and observing physical, mental, and emotional abuse at the hands of parents, academic pressure, teachers, and college bullies are at the highest risk of suicide. Students that live in a toxic environment with no moral support are potential victims.

Student suicide exist in every country, but some countries have an alarming rate of students killing themselves because they can't handle academic pressure. India, Japan, South Korea, America, and Alaska have recorded the most cases of student suicide.
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