Editorial: Suicide prevention month: recognize those who are struggling

By Aislinn Walsh
September 9, 2019

Editor’s Note: This article mentions suicide/self-harm. 

Suicide has had an impact on many people’s lives. Although suicide feels like it is “the only way out,”  it takes a toll on everyone around you. It is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. According to Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC), suicide is the second-leading cause of death among those 15-24 years old. “Approximately 1,100 college students die by suicide each year,” according to The National Institutes of Health. Suicidal thoughts can be common when you are a student feeling alone in college.

September is suicide awareness month. But what goes into preventing a suicide? A great place to start is educating yourself on the issue. It is important to understand that a person contemplating suicide is a person at war with themselves. It is not a choice, and it is crucial to work with them rather than arguing with a person who is struggling. This a way to help in the long run, as well as a way to show respect for those in need. The more suicide is discussed and talked about, the more people we become aware of this epidemic.

Ways to help

If you sense a friend or loved one is at risk, you may naturally be hesitant about speaking up out of fear of upsetting the person. However, suicidal thoughts are an urgent matter and it’s always better to act sooner rather than later. According to HelpGuide.org:

  • Do: Talk to them and express your concern for them.  Listen to what they have to say.  
  • Do: Get them help. Don’t stay quiet for the sake of the friendship. 
  • Do: Speak up if someone seems off or is showing warning signs.
  • Don’t: argue with them or lecture them on the value of their life.   
  • Don’t: put pressure on yourself to fix them. It’s not your responsibility.

Warning Signs 

Sometimes it is difficult to see if a loved one is struggling with suicidal thoughts. Some signs are easier to spot than others but identifying warning signs early on and speaking up can ultimately save someone’s life. It is important to check on those who are expressing feelings of hopelessness.  Warning signs include:

  • Talking about being a burden to other
  • Increasing the use of alcohol, drugs or other substances
  • Self-destructive or reckless behavior
  • Sleeping/ eating too little or too much
  • Withdrawing socially or expressing feelings of isolation

It can be very difficult for someone to carry that weight on their shoulders and feel like there is no other way out. It is important to reach out to those who are silent but may be in need of support. 

Resources 

Although students may feel overwhelmed with school, there are many resources provided on Cabrini’s campus to provide a safe space for students to relieve their stress and worries. Counseling and Psychological Services help students’ on campus grow by focusing on their values of self‑respect for yourself and for others, and self‑awareness. It helps students feel like they are being listened to and have that support they were lacking before. Also, The office helps lead students to make healthy choices to reach their fullest potential. The goal is to make the student feel like they are loved and welcomed into Cabrini’s community. 

 If you or someone you know is expressing suicidal thoughts please call the National Suicidal Hotline number. 

Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

 

Aislinn Walsh

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