Students looking up ways to die. Is your college on this list?

I monitor the traffic from colleges to a page on my site written specifically to capture those searching for a particular way to kill themselves. I do this because suicide is the #2 cause of death at colleges and over the years, I have been able to identify trends and wondering if I might be able to see some patterns over time.

These are my statistics for my website only and don’t represent the volume of searches of this phrase.

I will put a link to the page I’m referring to but offer a trigger warning for vulnerable individuals. Here is the link. I also have pages that people find when looking for how to talk to a friend who is cutting, for example, and what to say or do. I know to write these posts because the students ask me these questions. And if they are asking me, I know they are asking Google, too.

I have statistics from the last four months of spring 2019 and in that time, close to 3,000 visited that page per month. I’ll compare it later to the fall of 2019. The only way I can track this is that the college or university is in the ISP, Internet Service Provider. I circled it below so you could see.

I can track college activity based on the ISP, Internet Service Provider circled above.

I filter the statistics by putting in keywords like college or university. So technical schools are not represented unless this is in their school name. Most colleges are in summer session now and therefore I won’t see as many college names since most students leave campus this time of year.

I have several pages that were written specifically to show up on Google because I know that mental health resources are not meeting the demand which is why I advocate people listening to each other and connecting. That alone can actually prevent suicide. Because there is a shortage of resources, people turn to Dr. Google.

But there is good news. Below, you will see someone visited the “how to” page and then clicked the link I have on that page to take them to an article about how to tell a parent they want to die. So instead of going back to google determined to find a way, they went to a page about how to tell a parent. That’s good news.

The one below is from University of Pennsylvania. This student spent 15 minutes on the site which is good news because in that time, that irrational suicidal ideation will usually subside.

This student looked up eating disorders on this site which has the highest mortality and suicide rate of any mental illness. So they looked up eating disorders category and went first to Kendall’s article about her best friend dying of anorexia, then to Tamara’s article about Logan and his eating disorder and landed finally on Carly’s article about recovery from an eating disorder.

From this, we can surmise that it’s probably a student who suffers from an eating disorder and was having thoughts of suicide. Maybe he or she found hope here?

I have also seen people who’ve clicked on the link to call the suicide hotline 1-800-273-8255 or text the crisis text line 741-741 although I did not see that indicated in the activity from colleges during this four month period.

There are 105 colleges on the list

One hundred five students (or faculty) that have visited that page from February to the end of May. Not all of these are U.S. based since this site has international reach. The page I have referred to above is ranked #6 on Google for many variations of the title of that page.

Aberystwyth University
Acadia University
Alvernia University
Babson College
Binghamton University
Boston University
Bournemouth University
Brigham Young University Hawaii
California Polytechnic State University
Cardiff University
Central Methodist University
Central Washington University
Chapman University
Columbia University
DTU Danish Technical University
Duke University
Eastern Kentucky University
Esdal College
Falmouth University
Fitchburg State University
George Mason University
Gonzaga University
Grand Canyon University
Hartpury College
Hofstra University
Humboldt State University
Indiana State University
Kennesaw State University
Kenyon College
Lebanon Valley College
Louisiana State University
Macalester College
Maharishi Dayanand University Rohtak
Marquette University
McDaniel College
Missouri State University
New York University
North Carolina State University
Ohio State University
Oxford University
Pacific Lutheran University
Point Park University
Princeton University
Quinnipiac University North Haven Campus
Ripon College
Roehampton University
Royal Military College of Canada
Rutgers University
Sam Houston State University
Savannah College of Art and Design
Southern Arkansas University
Spartanburg Methodist College
St Mary’s University
St. Petersburg College
Texas Christian University
The College of William and Mary
The George Washington University
The University of Manchester
The University of Tennessee, Memphis
The University of Western Ontario
Trinity College
University College Dublin
University of Alabama
University of Bath
University of British Columbia
University of Calgary
University of California at Berkeley
University of California, San Diego
University of Cambridge
University of Chicago
University of Cincinnati
University of Colorado
University of Connecticut
University of Durham
University of Florida
University of Hertfordshire
University of Hertfordshire
University of Kent
University of Liverpool
University of Maine System
University of Massachusetts
University of Minnesota
University of New Hampshire
University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center
University of Pennsylvania
University of Plymouth
University of Reading
University of Redlands
University of Rhode Island
University of South Carolina
University of St. Thomas
University of Stirling
University of Tennessee
University of Toledo
University of Toronto
University of Vermont
University of Wales Trinity Saint David
University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point, WI
University of Wisconsin Madison
Washington & Lee University
York University
My TEDx was about creating posts that offer hope when people are searching online for a way to kill themselves

Published by

AnneMoss Rogers

AnneMoss Rogers is a mental health and suicide education expert, mental health speaker, suicide prevention trainer and consultant. She is author of the Book, Diary of a Broken Mind and co-author of Emotionally Naked: A Teacher's Guide to Preventing Suicide and Recognizing Students at Risk with Kim O'Brien PhD, LICSW. She raised two boys, Richard and Charles, and lost her younger son, Charles to addiction and suicide on June 5, 2015. She is a motivational speaker who empowers by educating and provides life saving strategies and emotionally healthy coping skills. As talented and funny as Charles was, letting other people know they matter was his greatest gift. And now that's the legacy she carries forward in her son's memory. Mental Health Speakers Website.

2 thoughts on “Students looking up ways to die. Is your college on this list?”

  1. These statistics are shocking. I didn’t know eating disorders had the highest mortality and suicide rate of any mental illness. I wish my daughter’s psychiatrist had told me that. We spent so long at her first and only appointment discussing this issue. He read us the Canada Food Guide. A explanation of the risk would have been much more helpful.

    You are doing an amazing job Anne Moss.

    1. The Canada Food Guide? Really? I’m sorry that was not addressed but doesn’t surprise me. No one ever did with Charles and he had notebooks full of suicidal ideation.

      Thanks for commenting Stacy.

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