Two recent students are gone too soon by their own hand. Both of these gentlemen were talented, driven, passionate and loved by so many. They left their imprint on ACU in many positive ways. However, they were also quietly suffering and felt that taking their life was the best way to end it.
For those of you who are not aware, the month of September is known as Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. In 1958, the first suicide prevention center opened in Los Angeles. Then many more quickly appeared because of the increase in deaths that were caused by suicide. So many in the world are affected when it comes to suicide, whether you know someone who took their own life or know someone who is exhibiting signs that they are thinking about taking their life.
It is evident that over the years, suicide has become a large problem in our society, so much so we are seeing more celebrities partnering with projects to help aid suicide prevention. Actress Selena Gomez is one of the producers on the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why. In the first season of the series, the audience follows the main character, a new girl who moved to a new town, but after being bullied and sexually assaulted, she takes her own life. The series is based on a novel written by Jay Asher in 2007.
Rapper Logic came out with his single 1-800-273-8255 in 2017. He uses the number for the Suicide Prevention Hotline while his music video takes us through the life of a young African-American male teen and his struggles with his sexuality and the repercussions he dealt with. One of the scenes in the video shows the teen dialing the number.
Sadly, there are too many reasons that may bring youth and teens to suicide. One of the more common reasons is that they may be suffering from depression. According to Suicide Prevention Hotline, 75 percent of teens struggle with depression. This is such a heartbreaking percentage. However, depression can be helped with certain medications and the love and support of close love ones.
Another cause that may lead people to suicide is due to bullying. Whether it is physical, verbal or cyberbullying, these occurrences have a strong negative impact on a person. Life is hard enough and then add getting talked down to, beat up on, being degraded and it makes things seem a thousand times worse. Especially when no one is ever truly aware what a person’s personal struggles are.
Whether we know someone directly who has decided to end their life, we can all help prevent suicide. First, be aware of what the signs are. Theses signs include isolation, sleeping a lot, risk-taking behavior, talking about ending their life, pursuing options to end their life, saying they feel hopeless and having no reason to live, behaving recklessly, feeling trapped or in unbearable pain, extreme mood swings and substance abuse.
If someone tells you they are struggling and contemplating ending their life, don’t stay silent! Direct them to the prevention hotline number and talk to a trusted adult to help them. If they ask you not to say anything, please do say something. Their life is worth more than temporary feelings.
Don’t be afraid to help save a life. Let’s put an end to suicide.