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Aiding in the Fight To Stop Suicide

How Students Can Help Those in Need During Suicide Prevention Month


Photo by Rod Long on Unsplash


In 2022, there were approximately a total of 49,449 suicide deaths. That’s around 4,121 deaths per month and 135 deaths each day.


Suicide prevention month started in Sept. of 2009. It’s a time to remember all of those who lost their lives to suicide and those who are currently struggling below the surface. A time to acknowledge the people and families that have been impacted by this heartbreaking matter, and to spread awareness to prevent the action altogether. This massive issue spiked during COVID, and has only gotten worse with thousands upon thousands of people becoming a victim to suicide.


“Anybody and everybody could be going through something [or] struggling with something,” senior Cole McGinley said. “It’s really important to show kindness and be aware that no matter how funny a joke could seem, it could truly affect somebody and that could be something that would lead them to that path and lead them down that road. Treat people with kindness, it’s really simple.”


The seriousness of suicide has drastically increased over the years, and people all over may or may not know how to handle certain situations or recall what to do when a person in need is showing suicidal signs. According to the Jason Foundation, potential risk factors include having a history of depression or mental illness, revealing quick and aggressive mood swings, dealing with substance abuse and enduring a poor school or home environment.


While recognizing such warning signs is the first step in helping a friend or loved one who may be suffering, a more critical factor that many people are not informed on, is what do after witnessing these suicidal signs.


“If you have a conversation with someone who is expressing those types of feelings, it is much better to have that conversation than to ignore it and to actually hear what they have to say and how they feel,” upper school guidance counselor Tammy Eubanks said. “I think there are a lot of misconceptions [about mental health talk] and I think that is one reason this whole international initiative came about. That’s why it is so important that if somebody says that they’re feeling down or you get some kind of sense that something is not right, [then] to go to a trusted adult.”


While identifying signs that someone may be suicidal is crucial, another meaningful and sometimes even more successful gesture is giving them support during difficult times, and letting them know they always have someone to talk to.


“[The most important advice I could give to someone who is struggling] is don’t be ashamed,” Eubanks said. “Everybody goes through rough patches and sometimes you can feel like you’re alone in that. Fear, embarrassment, shame and pride all get in the way of getting the help that you need. Start[ing] a conversation [is the best thing you can do for yourself].”


If you or a loved one is suffering or is experiencing such signs, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to get immediate help.

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Andy Poll

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