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Few Universities In Northwest Keep Track Of Student Suicides

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File photo. The University of Oregon is one of dozens of large public universities in the U.S. that don't keep track of student suicides.

The Associated Press is reporting today that of the 100 largest public universities in the country, more than half don’t keep track of student suicides. That includes the University of Oregon, which the AP says either does not keep or does not consistently collect the data.  

Oregon State University and the University of Washington Seattle campus are the only large public institutions in the Northwest that shared annual statistics.  

UW has been tracking those numbers for about a decade, according to Associate Vice President for Student Life Ellen Taylor.  

“As is true with anything, you can’t understand and you can’t respond to something and particularly try to prevent it unless you have a pretty good idea of what is happening,” she said. “And so we want to know what’s happening whenever we lose a student and so tracking the suicide data is part of that.”  

Four students at UW died by suicide in 2017. That’s about on par with the national suicide rate.  

Mental health advocates in the state of Washington have been pushing for a bill that would require colleges and universities to publicize data about student suicides.  

That bill has been reintroducedthis year in the Washington House.

Deborah is an award–winning radio and television journalist whose career spans more than three decades. As the recipient of a 2018-2019 Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Journalism Fellowship, Deborah is currently focusing her reporting on adolescents and mental health.