Preventing student suicide with classes

(NBC) - Every 16 minutes, suicide takes someone's life in the U.S. Researchers at Indiana University-South Bend have been addressing the issue in the classroom for years.

They are now hoping to introduce their curriculum to colleges and universities across the United States.

"We have a suicide course here that's one of a few in the country that deals with suicide and we also cover mental illness and how it interacts with different suicidal behaviors," said IUSB's Dr. Daniel DeBrule.

A recent Hofstra University study showed severe mental illness is becoming more prevalent on college campuses than just ten years ago, and suicide prevention experts say that's why education is so important.

"That's what we can do to save lives is get the word out and help these people to understand that this is something we need to talk about and not something we need to stay quiet about," Director Ann Schelle from the Suicide Prevention Center said.

DeBrule says the topic remains taboo, partly, because many think if they don't talk about it, it won't happen.

DeBrule and colleague Dr. John McIntosh are conducting undergraduate research and working to create the countries first undergraduate textbook on suicide.

"We feel as though creating a text book and offering it to other universities might be a really key factor in getting the course offered in other schools and colleges," DeBrule said.

DeBrule is hoping their book should be ready for publication in the next 18 months.

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