#JamesDonaldson On #MentalHealth – Prevent Suicide In College Students


By Mental Health First Aid USA

Beginning or returning to college can be an exciting time for students. Each year is a new chapter filled with learning, discovery and opportunities. But, how students respond to the stressors of higher education varies from person to person — and sometimes anxiety, depression and substance use challenges affect physical and mental wellbeing. If not addressed, these can worsen and students may begin to have suicidal thoughts.

#James Donaldson notes:
Welcome to the “next chapter” of my life… being a voice and an advocate for #mentalhealthawarenessandsuicideprevention, especially pertaining to our younger generation of students and student-athletes.
Getting men to speak up and reach out for help and assistance is one of my passions. Us men need to not suffer in silence or drown our sorrows in alcohol, hang out at bars and strip joints, or get involved with drug use.
Having gone through a recent bout of #depression and #suicidalthoughts myself, I realize now, that I can make a huge difference in the lives of so many by sharing my story, and by sharing various resources I come across as I work in this space.
Find out more about the work I do on my 501c3 non-profit foundation
website www.yourgiftoflife.org Order your copy of James Donaldson’s latest book,
#CelebratingYourGiftofLife: From The Verge of Suicide to a Life of Purpose and Joy

Link for 40 Habits Signup



Since the pandemic, rates of depression and anxiety have increased substantially. A study in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry reviewed more than 60 studies and concluded that 33.3% of college students in the world experienced depression and anxiety, and the prevalence of anxiety in North America was 48%. Findings also show that students with depression or anxiety are at increased risk for suicidal thoughts and behaviors.

Four out of five college students who consider or attempt suicide show clear warning signs before the attempt. Here are a few things parents, peers and college staff and faculty can do to help prevent suicide in college students:

  1. Set realistic expectations about what college life is like. Before they head off to college, parents should have a sit-down conversation with their child. Talk about expectations heading into college and ask questions to ensure clear communication.
  2. Look for warning signs — and talk about them. Early intervention is critical to preventing suicide. Some people believe talking about suicide puts the idea into a person’s mind, but according to the Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Manual, that is not true — asking the question can actually be a lifeline. Signs and symptoms of suicide include talking about self-harm, withdrawing from friends and family, expressing hopelessness, giving away possessions and increased alcohol or drug use. The person may also show more anger, anxiety and dramatic mood changes.
  3. Reach out to the college’s mental health services department. Most college campuses offer services for people who are at risk for suicide. If someone shows signs and symptoms, reach out. Encourage the person you know to seek appropriate professional help and take advantage resources for people considering suicide. If the individual needing help is reluctant to talk to someone face-to-face, strongly suggest they contact the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988.