The leading cause of death among college students does not come as a surprise to Juli Slattery, family psychologist with Focus on the Family. More college students die from suicide than from drinking, a new study shows.
More and more young adults are feeling “an absence of a purpose for living,” she said.
A study released by the American Public Health Association shows that among the college students surveyed in 157 schools, for every 100,000 students, there were 6 suicides, and less than 5 fatalities due to alcohol. There were only 3 alcohol-related traffic fatalities for every 100,000 students. The study, which surveyed students ages 18-24, was the first to look at student mortality rates in more than 70 years, The Washington Post reported.
Student depression and other mental issues are critical issues that campuses need to address, James C. Turner, the author of the study, told the Post. Turner said alcohol abuse is another important factor.
However, while Turner, who served as president at the American College Health Association, stressed the need for more tracking, the suicide rate is more concerning to Slattery.
“These kids … have no one to put their confidence in,” because they don’t have the hope of Christ, she said.
Slattery said often young adults can’t handle rough situations.
“They don’t have the knowledge that God works through the tough times. He’s in control,” Slattery said.
“I mean, if you are 20-years-old and you have no sense that God is in control, you see no motivation,” Slattery said.
“We need to teach our kids the ‘Who’ – who is in control, God? Instead of just asking ‘Why’?” she said.