Let’s Talk About It: Suicide Prevention
- Let’s Talk About It: Suicide Prevention
- Suicide Prevention Tips
Sept. 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day, and National Suicide Prevention Week is the Monday through Sunday surrounding World Suicide Prevention Day.
Last year, the ASU chapter of the Sigma Kappa sorority invited me to speak at a ceremony the members organized and hosted on campus in recognition of World Suicide Prevention Day. I was humbled by the courage of a group of students willing to step up and speak out about such a heavy topic. It was an honor to participate. The following is an excerpt from my speech that evening:
“We gather today in memory of those who have died by suicide. We can look around this campus and find many directly impacted by suicide — perhaps you lost one you love to suicide, you may be a survivor of a suicide attempt, or you might be struggling with unwanted thoughts of suicide.
“Today we release balloons in honor of those who have died as a way of saying, ‘In memory of your death, we choose life for ourselves and for others. We choose life when you could not. We mourn you; we honor you by choosing life.’”
Here are a few quick facts about suicide:
- In the United States, 50 percent more people die from suicide than homicide each year.
- Experts believe that most suicidal individuals do not want to die. They just want to end the pain they are experiencing.
- When suicidal intent or risk is detected early, lives can be saved.
- You can join in supporting suicide prevention. Together we can reduce the number of lives shaken by a needless and tragic death.
In general, the most common cause of suicide is untreated or unsuccessfully treated depression. It’s important that we’re aware of what depression looks like, both for our own good and for those we care about.
Please contact ASU Counseling Services if you are concerned that you are experiencing depression. For more information, including warning signs and risk factors, myths about suicide, how to raise awareness and how to get help, visit this American Association of Suicidology web page.
I close with lyrics from the song “Jumper” by Third Eye Blind: “Everyone’s got to face down the demons … step back from the ledge my friend … put the past away.”
We can all strive to put the past away and walk toward hope and healing for ourselves and others by speaking out, by getting support for ourselves, and by offering encouragement to all.