We Need to Talk About Suicide
I am writing in honor of National Suicide Prevention Week going on now and the upcoming World Suicide Prevention Day on Sept. 10.
Suicide is a difficult topic to discuss, but talking about it is a key factor in preventing premature death.
- Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, with one suicide occurring on average every 12.3 minutes.
- Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15- to 24-year-olds.
This is an issue we need to talk about. Photographer Dese’Rae L. Stage has found a way to foster this conversation through her website Live Through This.
Stage writes: “The intention of Live Through This is to show that everyone is susceptible to depression and suicidal thoughts by sharing portraits and stories of real attempt survivors — people who look just like you. These feelings could affect your mom, your partner, or your brother, and the fear of talking about it can be a killer.”
Another project I found is called The S Word. I appreciated the alliteration in the video:
The message is: “We are not alone.”
Let’s Talk About Suicide
One way you can participate in raising awareness is by changing your social media profile picture. The purple and turquoise Suicide Prevention Ribbon stands for survivors of suicide and suicide itself. The ribbon serves as a reminder that suicide is an issue we need to talk about.
- Experts believe that most suicidal individuals do not want to die. They just want to end the pain they are experiencing.
- Experts also know that suicidal crises tend to be brief. When suicidal behaviors are detected early, lives can be saved.
Many people at some point in their lives have thoughts about suicide. Most decide to live because they realize that the crisis is temporary but death is not. On the other hand, people in the midst of a crisis often perceive their dilemma as inescapable and feel an utter loss of control.
Frequently, they can’t:
- Stop the pain
- Think clearly
- Make decisions
- See any way out
- Sleep, eat or work
- Make the sadness go away
- See the possibility of change
- See themselves as worthwhile
- Get someone’s attention
If you are struggling with any of the above symptoms, talk to someone. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. You may be experiencing depression. Depression is TREATABLE if you get help.
There are services available through the ASU Health Clinic and Counseling Center for the assessment and treatment of suicidal thoughts and their underlying causes.
Protective factors include:
- Social connectedness
- Supportive family and friends
You can be a part of suicide prevention by becoming aware of risk factors, highlighting your willingness to listen without judgment, and knowing where to go or where to direct your friend for help.
- In an emergency, always call 911.
- Contact our campus police. They are here to help.
- Call the campus counseling clinic.
- Use 24/7 crisis prevention resources by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or visiting the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
LET’S TALK ABOUT THIS.