UVA Today: Studying Why Students Die

November 18, 2011

In this week's UVA Today segment, Dr. James Turner of the Elson Student Health Center visited the Newsplex to talk about a new study that takes an unprecedented look at deaths on college campuses.

UVa researchers collected data from 160 colleges and universities and found that suicide is the most common cause of death among college students. While the college suicide rate has not increased in the last 25 years, the number of alcohol-related deaths have gone down.

"I suspect we've done a good job of educating students about safer and more responsible uses of alcohol. It's not to say it's still not an important public health issue," said Dr. James Turner, Director of the Elson Student Health Center.

Dr. Turner also credits school counseling services for detecting cases of major depression, which he says could suggest why the suicide rate has remained steady.

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