AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION HOUSE OF DELEGATES
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
American Psychiatric Association
Subject: Depression and Suicide on College Campuses
WHEREAS, suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students, and
WHEREAS, there are over 1,100 suicides on college campuses each year, and
WHEREAS, 4 out of 5 young adults who attempt suicide show clear warning signs in advance, and
WHEREAS, 18 to 24 year olds think about suicide more often than any other age groups, and
WHEREAS, the National College Health Risk Behavior Study found that 11.4% of college students seriously consider attempting suicide each year, and
WHEREAS, more young adults die from suicide than from AIDS, cancer, heart disease, pneumonia, birth defects, influenza and chronic lung disease combined, and
WHEREAS, 10% of college students have been diagnosed with depression, and
WHEREAS, 90 % of young adults who commit suicide have at least one diagnosable psychiatric illness at the time of death, most often depression and/or substance abuse, and
WHEREAS, only 15% of suicide victims were in treatment at the time of their death, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that our AMA Council on Scientific Affairs work in conjunction with all appropriate specialty societies to prepare a report on depression and suicide on college campuses; and be it further
RESOLVED, that our AMA CSA include in their report, a review of available scientific data on the efficacy of prevention programs aimed at reducing the incidence of suicide on college campuses; and be it further
RESOLVED, that our AMA CSA review the existing data on access to and utilization of college mental health services; and be it further
RESOLVED, that our AMA CSA promulgate guidelines concerning appropriate access to psychiatric and other mental health services on college campuses.
Fiscal Note: staff assistance requested
Relevant AMA Policy:
H-60.980 Child and adolescent Suicide
It is the policy of the AMA to express its opposition to media presentations, which directly or indirectly encourage suicide in young children and adolescents. (Res. 115, I-90; Modified: Sunset Report, I-00)
H-345.984 Awareness, Diagnosis and Treatment of Depression
(1) The AMA will disseminate information to physicians and the public that depression is a significant illness that should be treated and when it occurs with another medical illness is a separate condition requiring treatment. The AMA supports full reimbursement and payment, without prejudice, for physician services related to the diagnosis and treatment of clinical depression.
(2) Our AMA encourages: (a) medical schools, primary care residencies, and other training programs as appropriate to include the appropriate knowledge and skills to enable graduates to recognize, diagnose, and treat depression, both when it occurs by itself and when it occurs with another general medical condition; (b) all physicians providing clinical care to acquire the same knowledge and skills; and (c) additional research into the course and outcomes of patients with depression who are seen in general medical settings and into the development of clinical and systems approaches designed to improve patient outcomes. Furthermore, any approaches designed to manage care by reduction in the demand for services should be based on scientifically sound outcomes research findings.
Our AMA will work with the National Institute on Mental Health and appropriate medical specialty and mental health advocacy groups to increase public awareness about depression, to reduce the stigma associated with depression, and to increase patient access to quality care for depression. (Res. 502, I-96; Reaffirm & Appended: CSA Rep. 7, I-97; Reaffirmation A-00)
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Representing over 7,500 child and adolescent psychiatrists nationwide, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) is the leading authority on children’s mental health. AACAP members actively research, diagnose, and treat psychiatric disorders affecting children, adolescents, and their families.
The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) is the leading authority on children’s mental health. AACAP members actively research, diagnose, and treat psychiatric disorders affecting children, adolescents, and their families.
Our Facts for Families, available free of charge on the AACAP website, provide concise and up-to-date information on a wide array of issues relating to children’s mental health. Written in a simple, straightforward manner, these 88 one-page fact sheets are valuable to anyone raising or working with children. In addition, the AACAP routinely refers the media to expert spokespeople on child and adolescent issues, and sponsors The Campaign for America’s Kids – an initiative designed to fund an Advocacy Institute for Child and Adolescent Mental Health, with the goal of mental health for all children.
AACAP Mission: The Mission of the AACAP is the promotion of mentally healthy children, adolescents and families through research, training, advocacy, prevention, comprehensive diagnosis and treatment, peer support and collaboration.