Mental Health Issues. Suicide

February 14, 2017

Suicide is the act of intentionally killing yourself. Today, it is the second leading death cause among college students. According to statistics, 10% of college students have had suicidal thoughts or even have been making plans to take away their own lives. Most students, who manifest such thoughts and intentions, suffer from mental illnesses (most often – depression), experience frustrations, worries, fears, and doubts. Even though many students can experience these symptoms without thoughts of death, it’s necessary to prevent or timely notice the frightening moment, when they decide to end their lives.

Recognizing The Signs

Even though suicide often seems to be a sudden act, it’s possible to notice the warning signals beforehand and timely help the person. These symptoms aren’t always clear, but they may include:

  • Extreme level of hopelessness
  • Depression and persistent negative mood
  • Sudden change in behavior and character
  • Avoidance of social activities
  • Abrupt calmness after a long-term depression
  • Talks of death and suicide

Most college students who commit suicide suffer from a diagnosable and treatable mental disorder, such as severe depression, anxiety, or negative thoughts after a loss of a loved one.

How to Notice Suicidal Behavior in Your Friend?

Suicidal students often talk to their peers and express their thoughts. Therefore, you need to be attentive to those you communicate with. See if they manifest such signs as:

  • Talks about their death suicide
  • Threats of hurting oneself
  • Frequent risky behaviors
  • Withdrawal from friends, school, and social activities
  • Depressive behavior and hopelessness
  • Unwillingness to move on after a break-up
  • Talks about the desire to relieve their pain forever

Mental Health Issues. Suicide

Seeing any of these signs, be very careful. Patiently talk with this person and encourage him to get professional help. In case you suspect that your friend, peer, or roommate is suicidal but doesn’t want to communicate, consult your campus healthcare providers right away. In emergency cases, call 911 or urgent care facilities. By expressing your concern in time, you might save this person’s life.

How Do You Know If You Are Suicidal?

Be attentive not only to those around you but also to yourself. See if you manifest any of the following behaviors:

  • Withdrawal from your friends and activities you enjoyed before
  • Thoughts or talks about death and suicide
  • Persistent feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness
  • Depressive thoughts
  • Relentless feelings of guilt
  • Strong anger or anxiety
  • Drug or alcohol abuse

If you have any of these signs, seek professional help. Share your thoughts with your friend or family member and ask them to accompany you to the specialist.

Suicide Prevention Resources

If you want to know how to deal with suicidal thoughts in yourself or your friend, you can ask help from your campus health center or any of these organizations:

  • Active Minds contributes to the effective communication about mental wellness on college campuses, teaches how to prevent mental issues in students, and provides multiple services for those in crisis
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness aims to enhance the lives of individuals who suffer from mental ailments, provides information on suicide prevention, and offers social support groups, 24-hour lifeline crisis chat, and text support line
  • American Foundation for Suicide Prevention aims to provide education, support, and innovative research findings to prevent suicide
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is reachable through a toll-free number 1-800-273-TALK (8255); provides emotional support and assist family members and friends in risk prevention (all talks are confidential)
  • The Trevor Project provides LGBTQ individuals with required emotional support and secure space to have a conversation, offers several channels for help and communication (their toll-free lifeline number 1-866-488-7386 works 24/7)

Suicide is a serious issue. Nevertheless, you can prevent this tragedy if you don’t nurture your negative thoughts and rather seek ways to deal with them. Remember that your life is the most precious thing you have. Value it.

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