Suicide is a major threat among U.S. college students who report high levels of binge drinking, suggests a new study that examined questionnaires filled out by more than 28,000 college students who received mental health services in fall 2008.
The study found that one percent of students who answered a question about binge drinking said they had gone binge drinking 10 or more times in the previous two weeks. Of those respondents, nearly half said they'd seriously considered suicide in the past, the Associated Press reported.
The researchers at Penn State University's Center for the Study of Collegiate Mental Health also found that 93 percent of respondents who answered a question about campus violence said they had little or no fear of losing control and acting violently.
Males accounted for the majority of the 7 percent who said they did have strong fears about violence. In addition, this group of students said they'd had previously harmed another person and often had a number of other symptoms, such as fear of suffering a panic attack or suicidal thoughts, the AP reported.
The pilot study was designed to identify current mental health trends among students so that colleges and universities can be better prepared to help students.
"Mental health affects every aspect of a college student's functioning. The earlier you intervene in mental health issues, the more likely you are to be successful in treating it," said Ben Locke, executive director of the center, the AP reported.