Public Universities Aren’t Tracking Student Suicides. That’s a Problem.

Student mental health efforts would benefit from more data, experts say
(EWA Radio: Episode 154)

More than half of the nation’s 100 largest public universities fail to track student suicides, a surprising discovery revealed in a new investigation by the Associated Press’ Collin Binkley. Among the schools not keeping these statistics are Arizona State University and the University of Wisconsin, which have both had recent student suicides, Binkley reported.

Having accurate data could help researchers identify patterns and trends, mental health experts say, and help universities better target suicide prevention efforts to students in crisis. What are the legal and societal hurdles to tracking student suicides on campus and making that information public? What efforts are afoot to address  to address the data gaps? And what are story ideas for reporters using the AP’s database as a starting point for local coverage of campus suicide and mental health challenges?

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