Aspects of Suicidal Behavior, Depression, and Treatment in College Students: Results from the Spring 2000 National College Health Assessment Survey


  • The authors would like to thank the students, surveyors and institutions that participated in NCHA Spring 2000 and the NCHA Advisory Committee for permission to access the NCHA Spring 2000 database. Partial support for this project comes from the National Pharmaceutical Council as an unrestricted educational grant.

Address correspondence to Jeremy Kisch, PhD, The Columbia Counseling Center, Suite 327, 5525 Twin Knolls Road, Columbia, MD 21204.


The National College Health Assessment Survey (NCHA), sponsored by the American College Health Association, measured depression, suicidal ideation, and suicide attempts among 15,977 college students in the academic year 1999–2000. Similar to the National College Health Risk Behavior Survey, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 1995, 9.5% of students reported that they had seriously considered attempting suicide and 1.5% of students reported that they had attempted suicide within the last school year. The NCHA findings show a relationship between suicidal behavior and depressed mood. Depressed mood, difficulties of sexual identity, and problematic relationships all increase the likelihood of vulnerability to suicidal behavior. Less than 20% of students reporting suicidal ideation or attempts were receiving treatment.