Some of the people who write to me are quite specific about how they plan to kill themselves. One person said, “I think about jumping from the 27th floor window of my office every day.” For suicide prevention experts, this is a dangerous sign, as it means that the person has actually devised a plan to carry out the act. In recent months, the notes have increased, and if anything they are even more desperate. One individual admitted that he thought about killing himself all the time. Another even claimed — which was beyond disturbing — that prior to writing his comment, he had been sitting in his car, with the garage door shut.
There have been no epidemiological studies attempting to find a correlation between student loan indebtedness and suicide or suicide attempts, but experts would not be surprised if one exists.
Having massive amounts of debt that you can’t discharge in bankruptcy can make a person feel very helpless. Here is a discussion about student loans and suicide from the Economic Hardship Reporting Project, and the Huffington Post. [via]