Suicide Prevention Month


Sarah Ewing, Writer

Have you or a loved one ever been suicidal? In anonymous student poll, 75% of students surveyed said yes. Even worse, it is predicted that every 40 seconds someone takes their own life, and by 2020 it’s expected to drop to every 20 seconds. Suicide isn’t some distant problem that we can just ignore and hope never affects us. It is very possible that in your lifetime someone you love will take his or her own life.

So how can you help prevent this? I asked my peers this question and the answers varied. Some said that we need to “offer more mental health services” or try “actually working to help instead of just telling them what to do.” Many said we need to remove the stigma around mental health and stop telling people, “It’s not okay to be anything less than happy.” These people are struggling enough as it is and to tell them that what they’re feeling isn’t “valid” is cruel and unwarranted.

Other students had more specific answers. “Stop giving out so much freaking homework. Teachers are adding stress upon stress on students and then the everyone wonders why all of the kids are depressed and bitter.” Another student said, “Don’t sugarcoat suicide when informing others about it. It’s a very real, serious thing that needs more awareness, not to be covered up or hidden. We don’t need to only have a speech from the principal when someone commits suicide, we need to have yearly events that spread awareness for it. Not some condolences on the morning announcements.”

It’s true that people “sugarcoating”  can seriously harm people.It also speaks to the fact that we need to spread more awareness, especially when someone at the school commits suicide. 

Every day 123 people take their own lives. 123 people feel so hopeless that they see the only option is to end it all. How are we letting this happen? How many of those people actually make an effort to solve this problem? No­t enough. 

I once heard a story that someone who was about to commit suicide decided they wouldn’t commit suicide if someone smiled at them that day. Something as simple as a smile could save someone’s life. Of course, there are plenty of more effective ways to help. You could donate to any of the countless organizations such as the “AFSP” or even volunteer for an organization like the “National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.”   

And if you’re feeling depressed, it’s ok to talk about it. It’s ok to get help.