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Suicide Life Threat Behav. 2008 Feb;38(1):87-103. doi: 10.1521/suli.2008.38.1.87.

An empirically supported program to prevent suicide in a college student population.

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Counseling Center, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign 61820, USA.


In the fall of 1984, the University of Illinois instituted a formal program to reduce the rate of suicide among its enrolled students. At the core of the program is a policy that requires any student who threatens or attempts suicide to attend four sessions of professional assessment. The consequences for failing to comply with the program include withdrawal from the university. In the 21 years that the program has been in effect, reports on 2,017 suicide incidents have been submitted to the Suicide Prevention Team. The rate of suicide at locations within Champaign County (where the university is located) have decreased from a rate of 6.91 per 100,000 enrolled students during the 8 years prior to the program's start to a rate of 3.78 during the first 21 years of the program. This represents a reduction of 45.3 percent. This reduction occurred against a backdrop of stable rates of suicide both nationally and among 11 peer institutions within the Big Ten. The implications for programs and policies at institutions of higher education are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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