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Cabrini students playing guitar and singing at an Active Minds event

Cultural Identity Resources

Students from diverse backgrounds may face a variety of challenges during their college years. While problems vary, the most common concerns include:

  • Academic problems: frequent absences, failure to complete assignments, difficulty concentrating, and declining grades.
  • Relationship difficulties: Conflicts with partners, friends, parents, and professors
  • Engaging in risky behaviors: alcohol or drug use, risky sexual behaviors, violence
  • Isolation: Feelings of isolation from peers, family, spiritual, or religious community

African-American Students
In general, African-Americans have had some of the lowest suicide rates in the United States. However, recent statistics indicate that the suicide rate for African-American college age men has nearly doubled.

Common risk factors for suicide among African-American students include:

  • Academic Problems
  • Impulsivity or aggression
  • Experienced a recent loss
  • Experiences with prejudice, racism, and/or discrimination
  • Access to firearms or other lethal means
  • Relationship problems
  • A family history of depression and/or suicide

*Interesting Fact: Nearly 19% of students who attended Cabrini’s Counseling and Psychological Services during the 2015-16 academic year identified as African American.

Resources:

Asian-American Students
Asian-American college students have some of the highest rates of suicide among their peers.

Research shows that Asian-American students tend to underutilized mental health services due to stigma and shame.

Common risk factors for suicide among Asian-American students:

  • Feeling rejected by parents
  • Conflicts with family members, particularly parents
  • History of physical or sexual abuse
  • Family history of depression and/or suicide
  • Financial concerns
  • Values conflict
  • Lack of emotional expression
  • Impulsivity or aggression
  • Access to firearms or other legal means

Resources:

Latino/Latina Students
Latina college students report some of the highest rates of depression among their peers. Recent studies suggest that Latino students are at an increased risk for attempting suicide in comparison to other cultural groups.

Puerto Ricans in particular have shown an increased rate of suicide in comparison to other Latino groups.

Common risk factors for suicide among Latino/Latina students include:

  • Poverty
  • Underemployment
  • A recent loss (e.g., death or break-up)
  • Unwillingness to seek mental health services
  • Relationship problems (i.e., conflicts with family or friends)
  • History of abuse
  • Family history of depression and/or suicide

*Interesting Fact: Nearly 7% of students who attended Cabrini’s Counseling and Psychological Services during the 2015-16 academic year were from Latino backgrounds.

Resources:

Muslim Students
College is a time of great pressure and responsibility. As such, students may experience a variety of feelings related to being overwhelmed.

Muslim students who experience mental health concerns may be hesitant to seek help due to fear of stigma. Concerns over confidentiality may also be a factor into their reluctance to seek help.

Common risk factors for suicide among Muslim students include:

  • A history of abuse
  • Fears of legal consequences for seeking help
  • Experiences with prejudice
  • A recent loss
  • A family history of depression and/or suicide
  • Values conflict

Resources:


Unique Identity Resources

First Generation Students
First Generation students are the first in their family to attend a 4-year college.

While first generation students come to college with many strengths, they may also face some challenges. Sometimes these challenges may lead to feeling depressed or anxious.

Common concerns among first generation students include:
Financial concerns

  • Lack of understanding from family about academics and college life
  • Lack of family support
  • A family history of depression and/or suicide
  • Family history of depression and/or suicide

Resources:

Foster Care Students
College students with foster care histories are at an increased risk for depression and suicide. In addition, research shows that foster care youth are reluctant to seek help. Students with previous foster care histories may struggle with anxiety, trauma, and substance abuse. Common risk factors for suicide among students previously involved with the foster care system include:

• Depression
• History of child abuse and neglect
• Mental disorder or substance abuse in a parent or other household member
• Bullying
• Self-injury
• Isolation

Resources:

LGBTQ Students
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) students are at an increased risk for suicide. Research suggests that suicide is the third leading cause of death among students within the LGBTQ community.

In 2013, approximately 24% of LGBTQ college students thought about attempting suicide. Further, LGBTQ individuals are almost three times more likely than others to experience a mental illness such as depression or anxiety.

Common risk factors for suicide among LGBTQ students:

  • History of abuse
  • Family history of depression and/or suicide
  • Stigma concerning their sexuality
  • Poor family support
  • Lack of family acceptance regarding their sexuality
  • Academic problems
  • Feelings of isolation
  • Physical and/or verbal harassment
  • Navigating the coming out process
  • Experiences with prejudice, discrimination, and stigma

*Interesting Fact: Nearly 9% of students who attended Cabrini’s Counseling and Psychological Services during the 2015-16 academic year identified within the LGBTQ community.

Resources:

Students with Disabilities
Students with physical, psychiatric or intellectual disabilities face many challenges when they enroll in college.

In addition to having to navigate a new world, students with disabilities often face challenges involving accessing accommodations, finding a support network, and living without their caretakers.

Common risk factors for suicide among students with disabilities:

  • Denial of disability
  • Conflict with friends or peers
  • A recent loss
  • Having made a previous suicide attempt
  • A family history of depression and/or suicide
  • Belief that they will achieve full health or ability despite what doctors say

Resources:

Undocumented and DACA Students
Students who are undocumented or under DACA status report some of the highest rates of anxiety in comparison to same-aged peers. Common concerns include uncertainty over their future, fear of being detained and deported, and social stigma about being undocumented. Studies have shown that undocumented students are at an increased risk for depression and suicidal behavior. Common risks factors for suicide among undocumented students include:

  • Age at immigration
  • History of trauma
  • Conflict between cultural and societal norms
  • Isolation
  • Family problems
  • Generational status
  • Level of education

Resources:


Veteran Students
The college experience poses challenges unique to Veteran students. Higher rates of health-risk behaviors and psychological disorders, when compared to their college peers, make attaining a college degree more difficult. Common risk factors for the Veteran population are:

  • Substance abuse
  • Post-Traumatic Stress
  • Depression
  • Social Isolation
  • Lack of Structured Environment

There are approximately 1 million Vets currently enrolled in higher education.

Resources:

 

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