by : Gieanne Aldana
Did you know that suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the U.S.? Each year, 44,965 Americans die because of suicide, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
On average, there are 123 suicides in the U.S per day. Firearms are the most common method, causing 51% of suicide deaths. Suffocation comes in second, causing 25.9% of deaths.
According to suicide.org, depression is one of the top reasons why people harm themselves. but other mental health disorders, such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia (a disorder that affects a person’s ability to think, feel, and behave clearly), can also lead to thoughts of self-harm. Discrimination and physical abuse could also lead to self-harming. LGBTQ youth are also at a higher risk of harming themselves.
People who have suicidal thoughts are often overwhelmed by feelings of sadness and hopelessness and they think that they have no other option.
It is very important to recognize behavior that could indicate suicidal tendencies. Here are some examples:
- Talking about hopelessness
- Talking about having no reason to go on living
- Eating too much or too little
- Showing signs of anxiousness
According to Luke Soriano, a Wellness Center program director, ways to prevent suicide are being aware of what’s happening, having public campaigns, and having sources.Some of those sources are suicide hotlines, child protection programs, counseling, therapy, and support groups.
“It’s stressful to support somebody [who is having suicidal thoughts],” said Soriano, “especially if [a friend] is not prepared to deal with them. It could influence how they feel.” A suggestion for a friend to help is by listening to them and understand what they are going through.
“Prevention is better than cure,” said freshman Triatta Sok. “Do something today so it would never be too late in the future.”
If someone you know is considering harming themselves, you can get help! Talk to a counselor at the Wellness Center, or call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-8255 or the Trevor Lifeline for LGBTQ youth at 866-488-7386.