Depression, suicidal ideation, and knowledge of suicidal behavior among Chinese university freshman
Yirong Chen (Quanzhou Normal University, Central China Normal University, and Quanzhou College of Technology), Yongle Kang (Chinese Academy of Sciences and University of Chinese Academy of Sciences), and Yongle Lin (Quanzhou Normal University), 2017, 45(8), 13751384

“Depression,” “psychological disorder,” these words attract significant attention in society, and people are now more aware of their psychological health state rather than just their physical health. However, psychological disorders appear not only after big life events like an unsuccessful career, relationship failure, or financial pressure, but can also start in the early stages of adulthood. I was very interested to see that this article on depression and suicidal ideation was undertaken among Chinese university freshman at this stage of adulthood.

Chen, Kang, and Lin stated that suicide is the primary cause of death among people aged from 15 to 34 years in China, and that nearly 90% of those who commit suicide were previously diagnosed with a metal health disorder. These numbers increase the importance of how to address and resolve the current situation of suicide in China, and also raise the question of how we can better prepare students entering university to deal with the coming difficulties and pressures in their lives. In order to accomplish this, it is crucial to understand the relationship between depression and suicidal ideation, and the role knowledge of suicidal behavior plays in this relationship. 

The authors sampled 1,150 participants who were full-time freshmen at two universities in China. Three measures were used in the research: depression, suicidal ideation, and knowledge of suicidal behavior. The results showed depression was positively correlated with suicidal ideation, and both depression and suicidal ideation were negatively correlated with knowledge of suicidal behavior. It was also pointed out that Chinese university freshmen having a high level of knowledge of suicidal behavior may buffer suicidal ideation even when the freshmen have symptoms of depression. It was indicated that with appropriate education and adequate knowledge, people who suffer from depression would be less likely to commit suicide.

I think the results above are very useful in order to decrease the occurrence of suicide ideation. Personally speaking, I view depression as being like cancer, and think it is never too early to be diagnosed and take action, rather than leaving it too late. 

Fanchao (Martin) Meng | Chinese Translator
Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal