University of Vermont

Division of Student Affairs
Think. Care. Act.
Health and Safety


College represents a huge transition and challenges for most young people. If you are experiencing signs of depression or suicidal thoughts you are not alone. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for college students. In a year 40% of college students will report feeling so depressed that it is hard for them to function. Ten percent will report thoughts of suicide. Know that if you are struggling, you are not alone.

While there is no foolproof method of determining that someone is thinking of hurting themselves, the following signs might indicate that a young person is considering suicide:

  • A suddenly worsening school performance
  • A fixation with death or violence
  • Unhealthy peer relationships
  • Violent mood swings or a sudden change in personality
  • Indications that the student is in an abusive relationship
  • Signs of an eating disorder
  • Difficulty adjusting to gender identity
  • Depression

Some Warning Signs of Suicide Demand Immediate Action:

  • Announcing that the person has made a plan to kill him- or herself
  • Talking or writing about suicide or death
  • Saying things like: I wish I were dead, I'm going to end it all, or you will be better off without me.

If you think someone is considering suicide…


  • Recognize the warning signs
  • Take it seriously
  • Be willing to listen
  • Seek professional help
  • Stay with them


  • Leave the person alone
  • Minimize the situation
  • Try to argue the person out of suicide

Last modified August 21 2014 12:32 PM