Hazing and Suicide Risk

Does hazing increase the risk of suicide?

Breaking story:

Authorities probe possible link between teen’s suicide, fraternity hazing

Marquise A. Braham, 18, a 2013 graduate of Kellenberg Memorial High School in Uniondale and an officer of the Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity, committed suicide last Friday, the day he was set to return to school. His family, who lives in Queens, said he jumped off the roof of the Marriott in Uniondale after, his suicide note indicated, an aborted attempt earlier in the week.


Here’s a similar story:

As Travis placed the empty pistol to his head, he stated, “I will die for this fraternity,” and pulled the trigger. What he and his fraternity brothers didn’t know at the time was that this hazing activity triggered a lifetime of pain and anger for Travis that went much deeper than his freshman year of college.

The article by Travis Apgar and Ross Szabo, What We Dont Know Can Hurt Us Most: The Hidden Harm of Hazing, provides some information on hazing and mental illness and several references:


See HazingPrevention.org, Hidden Harm of Hazing:

Someone who has just joined an organization or team could have a hidden background that would make them highly susceptible to serious repercussions if hazed. Hazing can be physically or psychologically harmful to even perfectly healthy individuals, but mix hazing with any one of numerous issues individuals may be dealing with, and the damage can increase exponentially.


Some hazing facts:

1.5 million high school students are hazed each year; 47% of students came to college already having experienced hazing.

  • 55% of college students involved in clubs, teams and organizations experience hazing.
  • Alcohol consumption, humiliation, isolation, sleep-deprivation, and sexual acts are hazing practices common across all types of student groups.
  •  40% of athletes who reported being involved in hazing behaviors report that a coach or advisor was aware of the activity; 22% report that the coach was involved.
  • 2 in 5 students say they are aware of hazing taking place on their campus. More than 1 in 5 report that they witnessed hazing personally.
  • In 95% of cases where students identified their experience as hazing, they did not report the events to campus officials.
  • Nine out of ten students who have experienced hazing behavior in college do not consider themselves to have been hazed.
  • 36% of students say they would not report hazing primarily because “there’s no one to tell,” and 27% feel that adults won’t handle it right.
  • As of February 12, 2010, the number of recorded hazing/pledging/rushing-related deaths in fraternities and sororities stands at 96 – 90 males and 6 females.
  • 82% of deaths from hazing involve alcohol.


Here’s a story in which the hazing victim’s BAL was 0.40. Just to be clear, that is five (5) times the legal limit of 0.08:



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