Suicide is the second-leading cause of death on college campuses. The Journal of American College Health found that in the United States an average of 100 college students commit suicide every year.
Being a student of advanced education can be very stressful. Having to deal with the pressure of going to school, working one or two jobs and extra curriculum or off-campus activities can sometimes drive students to very low psychological limits.
Many Fresno State students deal with very stressful situations every day and this environment can sometimes lead to anxiety and depression.
Diagnosis of this condition, however, is very unlikely. The Journal of American College Health found that from 1990 to 2004 only 23 percent of students who committed suicide were treated at student counseling centers.
A study conducted by Families Magazine found that suicide is the 11th-leading cause of death in the United States. In addition, suicide is the third-leading cause of death for young people aged 15 to 24.
With overwhelming statistics across the nation for people who suffer with depression and anxiety, Dr. Gena Gechter, coordinator of psychological services at the Student Health Services constantly counsels Fresno State students of all ages.
“I have a lot of client interaction and I see individual patients daily. I also lead the feelings management group that runs on a weekly basis,” Gechter said.
“When people come in the door for help and ask for counseling services, we have a check list for them to say what they suffer from and they rate depression and anxiety very high because those are the ones actively seeking counsel,” Gechter added.
Depression symptoms vary from person to person but helpguide.org, a website designed to prevent suicide, has published a list of possible symptoms of depression.
Symptoms include depressed mood, a sense of hopelessness, sleep difficulties, loss of appetite or weight changes, irritability, short-temperedness, aggressive or suicidal thoughts, problem concentrating, unexplained aches and pains, reckless behavior and self-loathing.
An article published in the Depression and Anxiety Journal found that in the last six years, college students reporting depression symptoms has increased 56 percent.
Some of the outcomes of this condition are poor academic achievement, high rates of substance abuse and suicide.
Fresno State Student Health Services is available to students and faculty. The center provides treatment for dealing with stress and depression. The facility stays open until 4:45 p.m. everyday, including Friday, in order to accommodate any and all needs of students.
“I know some friends and people in my life who have dealt with personal situations. When they finally come to the realization that they need help, they go to the health center on campus,” Fresno State student Christine Zeledon said.
“I think it’s a great outlet that we have here on campus,” Zeledon added. “They have great service on campus and people can utilized it if they need it.”