We were given life to live-no matter how you believe you were born or where you come from or where you will go after your time is up, we are meant to live. There are misfortunate events that occur every day, one of the worst and serious action known as suicide.
As a college student only at the age of 20, I have unfortunately seen my fair share of the planning of a suicide or suicidal ideations, suicide attempts and unfortunately those that have lost the battle against their mental illnesses and succumb to the act of suicide.
6 people. I have been in the same room with 6 different people that have tried to take their own life. These ranged from my loved ones, friends, family, and honestly complete strangers. Sometimes I had happened to be in the right place at the right time. I do say right place and right time because all six of those people are living today.
Maybe they are not all at the level that they expect of themselves yet, but they are living the life they are meant to live. These encounters have been life changing for myself and truthfully those around me because they have affected me so much that I tend to mirror my passion and awareness back onto others. There was one consistency in trying to diffuse all six of the situations-talking and listening. Our words are powerful, I understand and will fully support the statement, but we do not always embrace the power of our ability to actively listen. Sometimes a simple minute of complete attention can save someone. With that being said, as supporters of each other we should know our resources and the signs to be aware of when someone may be thinking about taking their own life. We are all responsible for suicide prevention.
Here are some resources and guidelines to think about if you are concerned that someone you know may be having suicidal ideations.
KNOW THE SIGNS
Understanding certain behaviors and patterns – signs and symptoms – associated with suicide is the first step to its prevention. These could be conveyed physically or verbally, as well as in a subtle or unmistakable way. Any one sign could indicate suicide risk and should be taken seriously. Here are some signs of emotional pain or suicidal thoughts that should lend to concern:
TALK of: killing themselves, being a burden, feeling worthless/purposeless, being caught in intolerable suffering. This could also include them acquiring the means to complete suicide
BEHAVIOR that includes: substance abuse, researching means of suicide, social withdrawal, intense aggression, isolation, recklessness
MOOD of: depression, lethargy, rage, irritability, humiliation, anxiety
If you feel that you know someone that fits some of these signs consider:
- Getting professional help and follow-up on treatment*
- Remain a dedicated support system
- Advocate positive life changes
- Eliminate imminent threats to safety/self-harm
*Professional help could take the form of a mental health provider, treatment facility, or doctor.
For advice and referrals accessible by phone, the following crisis lines are available:
- National Suicide Crisis Center 24-hr Crisis Line: (800) 784-2433(TALK)
- San Diego Access & Crisis Line: (888) 724-7240
- 2-1-1 San Diego: 2-1-1
- NAMI San Diego Helpline: (858) 634-6580
Additionally, if you would like to learn more about factors that can reduce suicide risk on
campus and would like to help create a safe space for individuals with emotional/mental disabilities then consider coming to SHCS Pre-Event and Movie Screening of Finding Dory where we will honor survivors, those in treatment for a mental illness and hold a candle lighting for those who we have lost to suicide. The event will be from 7-8pm in USU Ballroom C and the movie screening will began at 8pm in the USU Amphitheater. Hope to see you there!
Written by Peer Educator: Tori Sandoval