September reflects National Suicide Prevention Month

In the world today, there are many problems and struggles. Some can be identified and solved immediately; however, there are many individuals who are struggling in silence. Those battles are not always easy to notice because they are often hidden behind smiling faces, silly jokes and everyday routines.

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, yet so many friends, coworkers and loved ones are taking their own lives. Suicide is one of the top 20 causes of death in the world. Many individuals who deal with mental health issues are afraid to reach out for help because of fear of judgment or lack of resources. Mental health does not distinguish gender, race or sexuality. Many cases of suicide could be prevented if more information surrounding the issue was talked about more. When dealing with an individual who may be having thoughts of suicide, there are multiple ways to help.

Pay attention to the warning signs of depression and changes in their behavior. Many individuals who are dealing with thoughts of suicide begin to act differently. They are no longer interested in things that would make them happy, or they may even distance themselves from friends and loved ones.
Take suicidal statements seriously and believe your instinct. When an individual mentions anything about suicide, immediately takes notes and listen to what they are saying. Listen and understand the individual without belittling them or making them feel wrong about their mental health.
Recommend seeking professional help immediately. Individuals who may be experiencing suicidal thoughts might feel that no one can help them and they have exhausted all their options. Make sure to recommend the individual to seek help by reaching out to a professional who can be trusted to deal with the situation.

On Washburn’s campus, many resources are available for individuals who are dealing with suicidal thoughts and other mental crises. Students can reach out to Washburn Counseling services by calling (785)-670-3100, going in person to Kuehne Hall 200 or by emailing [email protected]. Individuals can also reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Line at 988 to reach help 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Please remember there is always help available.

Edited by Justin Shepard and LeSha’ Davis