September is Fading but Need for Awareness Continuescsudhbulletin September 26, 2019 0 COMMENTS
By Yesenia Flores
September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and I am very much aware.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the second leading cause of death for college students, and a 2018 national survey of 67,000 college students found that one in five had experienced suicidal thoughts.
It doesn’t take a trained professional to determine whether someone is depressed, mired in grief about a loved one’s death or the end of a relationship, or any other factor that can lead to one contemplating suicide. Nor do you have to be an expert in mental health to ask someone how he or she is holding up. Whether someone is showing obvious signs of struggling with serious psychological or emotional problems, or does a very good job hiding it behind a bright smile, September is a reminder to us all to be more mindful of how we interact with others, and observant of how they interact with us.
It is important to be aware of our word choices because we don’t know what the person we are talking may be fighting in their own head. We don’t know the gravity of their situation or how small of a comment, facial expression, or action on our part can affect their situation.
If you don’t know how to approach someone you feel may be in emotional or mental pain, SeizeTheAwkward.org is a good reference to inform yourself on how to start a line of communication Starting a conversation now can prevent something worse from happening later.
If you are a person battling with suicidal thoughts and that confuses or scares you, or if you feel those thoughts are getting worse, September is also a reminder you are not alone in your fight to stay afloat. Stop running or hiding, or thinking that what you’re feeling is your own trip and you shouldn’t bother people with your problems. As cliché as it sounds, you are not the only one who feels this way. Every situation is unique, yes, but feelings of hopelessness, isolation, being a burden to others or not feeling anything at all, are universal.
Others have walked your path, and lived to tell their story. But you can’t do it alone. You need to talk to someone and friends, family and self-help books can only do so much. Talking to a mental health professional, or someone trained in interacting with those who feel lost and desperate, is often the best choice.
If you are in doubt of who you can turn to, one of the safest places to go is your doctor. Schedule an appointment with your general doctor to get referred to a mental health professional for long-time help.
Or take advantage of being a student or working at CSUDH and reach out to our campus’ health and psychological services. Or use one of the numbers listed below, which are available 24-7, 365 days a year.
Whether you feel like you have no one to confide in or would be judged by those close to you for revealing your pain, help is always available to you from an unbiased stranger.
From one stranger to another, now is the right time to salvage your mental stability.
Although September is designated to bring awareness to suicide, the battle continues long after September fades away. And I am very much aware.
Crisis Text Line: text HOME to 741741
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255