Shared with permission from davidsonlocal.com
Trigger Warning: Suicide
With the conclusion of Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, the growing amount of suicides and rate of depression in the US must be recognized. Suicide is an important subject to be talking to students about, as it is the second leading cause of death for people aged 10-35. With the rates rising, students still aren’t being educated on the subject. Many of us are unable to identify symptoms of severe depression and don’t know what to do if we have suicidal thoughts. We need a change.
The distribution of serious thoughts of suicide are 4.8 percent of all adults, 11 percent of young adults 18-25, 18.8 percent of high school students, and 46.8 percent of LGBTQ+ students. We need to be more supportive of all people, especially high school and LGBTQ+ students. Feelings of depression and sadness, while having some genetic reasons, can be helped through support.
To work in favor of suicide prevention, here are some things you can do:
Fight the stigma against mental health – The stigma against mental health in America keeps people from seeking help, as mental health issues can be seen as shameful. By reversing this concept, more people will be able to seek help and lower the amount of suicide.
Serve as a source for someone to talk to – When feeling down, people need to just talk. From anything as simple as a bad test grade or as severe as contemplating suicide, being there to listen can make a big difference.
Learn and teach warning signs– By learning and, in turn, teaching warning signs, one can be better prepared to respond to a situation while promoting suicide prevention.
Supporting those who need to stop doing something in order to improve their mental health – If your friend, child, sibling, etc. is needing to drop a club, sport, or another responsibility, let them. Stopping something that causes one’s mental health to be bad is not worth it, so don’t pressure anyone to do anything that is harming them mentally. Be supportive of actions such as these, as they are making this person’s life better.
The following are resources on suicide and suicide awareness:
Suicide Hotline: 800-273-8255
All of these actions can help to prevent suicide. Creating trusting relationships with others, and being willing to reach out and be reached out to when you or someone else is in need is key. Nothing is ever certain in life, but we should always work together to get each other out of tough spots. There is always a way, so don’t make any rash decisions. If you ever feel unworthy, know that all of us support you and value you. I value you.
Utilizing these resources, we can all work together to lower the rate of suicide in America and the world. Campaigning for mental health awareness is crucial for the movement towards a better quality of life, and we all must play a part in the fight.
Sidney Briggs is a senior at Westchester Country Day School.
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