Student Wellness
Student Wellness

Facts, Stats, and Warning Signs


National College Health Assessment (NCHA) 2019 data for ISU shows rates of students experiencing mental health concerns and challenges. (n=1008)

  • 67.2% reported feeling very lonely at some point in last 12 months 
  • 52.4% reported feeling things were hopeless at some point in last 12 months 
  • 41.1% reported feeling so depressed it was difficult to function in last 12 months
  • 10.9% reported seriously considering suicide in last 12 months

Suicide is a large and growing public health problem. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. It was responsible for more than 47,000 deaths in 2017, resulting in about one death every 11 minutes. Every year, many more people think about or attempt suicide than die by suicide. In 2017, 10.6 million American adults seriously thought about suicide, 3.2 million made a plan, and 1.4 million attempted suicide.

Suicide affects all ages. Suicide is a problem throughout the life span. It is the second leading cause of death for people 10 to 34 years of age, the fourth leading cause among people 35 to 54 years of age, and the eighth leading cause among people 55 to 64 years of age.

Some groups have higher rates of suicide than others. Suicide rates vary by race/ethnicity, age, and other population characteristics, with the highest rates across the life span occurring among non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Native and non-Hispanic White populations. Other Americans disproportionately impacted by suicide include Veterans and other military personnel and workers in certain occupational groups like construction and the arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media field. Sexual minority youth bear a large burden as well, and experience increased suicidal ideation and behavior compared to their non-sexual minority peers.

Signs and symptoms that suggest risk for suicide include:

  • Hopelessness
  • Change in eating and/or sleeping pattern
  • Intense or uncontrolled anger or seeking revenge Acting recklessly or engaging in risky activities, seemingly without thinking or without caring about consequences
  • Feeling trapped or like there’s no way out
  • Verbal hints such as, “I won’t be around much longer.”
  • Increased alcohol or drug use
  • Withdrawing from friends, family and society
  • Anxiety, agitation, inability to sleep or sleeping all the time
  • Dramatic mood or personality changes
  • Expressing no reason for living or no sense of purpose in life
  • Giving away things that are meaningful, putting affairs in order
  • Seeking access to potentially lethal means (guns, knives, pills, high windows, etc.)
  • Becoming suddenly cheerful after a period of depression
  • Talking about death and suicide
  • Difficulty tolerating praise or rewards
  • Frequent complaints about physical aches and pains
  • Persistent boredom
  • Poor concentration

Information adapted from Centers fro Disease Control and Prevention ( and JED Foundation (