A university in China recently required all incoming freshman to sign a waiver that states that the university is not responsible if the student commits suicide. Suicidal thoughts and depression are significant problems facing university students. However, having students sign a suicide waiver does not have any positive effect in terms of reducing student suicides. In fact, this procedure may send a message that students are alone in their struggles and cannot rely on the university to help them.

College is a time of transition, and often a time of increased stress. Too much stress can cause college students to develop depression, suicidal thoughts, eating disorders, anxiety disorders, academic problems, or other issues. When students struggle with depression and suicidal thoughts, seeking help can be very difficult. Just taking the time and energy to ask about available resources can be too much for a depressed student. Therefore, is important for college students to be proactive before stress becomes a major problem. Both college students and their parents can do this by compiling a list of the resources that are available for college students.

Here’s where college students can start:

  • Look through the packets and brochures provided to you during freshman orientation services. Start making a list of the names of campus resources and the types of student issues these services address.
  • Add to that list the name and contact information of your academic advisor and dean.
  • Be sure to include phone numbers for the student health center, counseling center, and student success center.
  • If you have struggled with high stress in the past, consider using counseling or wellness coaching to help prevent the negative impact of stress
  • Don’t see getting help as a failure or a last resort. Just as you would get a flu shot to prevent illness, you can also use campus resources to help maintain healthy emotional functioning.