Sadly, today’s media is comprised of too many stories of celebrities who have committed suicide. Whether it be by overdose or not, it is something that the world needs to be more conscious and aware of. Of course, we mourn the great musical artists actors and actresses who have been in such a dark place that they thought the only answer was to take their own lives. But there are 44,965 other people out there who also go down that path. Studies show that suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States and there are about 123 suicides per day. This is an alarming number and should be a wake-up call to society .
It may surprise you that middle-aged white men have the highest suicide rating, and firearms account for 51 percent of those deaths. Nowadays, we mostly hear about people in their teens to mid-twenties committing this act. This makes sense because these two periods in life are particularly difficult to handle.
Depression isn’t something you can see. Most people suffer silently and may appear happy or fun-loving to others Unfortunately, a lot of people are afraid to get help or cannot afford it, which shows a larger problem, healthcare. There is an ongoing debate concerning the cost of mental health care on college campuses, many believe it should be free. College students are among the most depressed demographic and many argue they should not have to break the bank in order to receive help.
Professional counseling is an effective way to reach someone and help them work on the issues that are holding them back mentally. Talking about things and knowing you have someone to confide in is a great outlet for those suffering. It can be hard to even take that first step and get help, but knowing you have support that is free and easy to get into can increase someone’s will to begin.
With the unfortunate recent increase in suicides in the media, there’s been an influx of social media posts advising to “check up on your friends.” This holds more weight than you might think. As previously mentioned, you can’t always see that someone is suffering. Checking up on your friends and loved ones and letting them know you’re a source of support for them can truly help them if they’re suffering and make them less afraid to open up to you. Since Suicide Prevention Week is coming up, we should all take time to reflect on those we hold close to us and make sure they’re in as good of a mental state as they claim to be.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is a great organization that offers opportunities to fight against suicide and make a difference in your own community. They hold walks to fight against suicide, volunteer opportunities and opportunities to bring prevention to your school, apply for a research grant, get training and give gifts.
UConn will be hosting a number of events this upcoming week, including:
Field of Memories- Sept. 24-28, all day, Fairfield Way at the Student Union- reducing stigma about mental health in college
“Lift the Mask” Film Screening and Panel Discussion – Sept 24 at 6p.m., Student Union Theatre
Stories of Gratitude – Sept. 27, 3p.m.-4p.m., ISSS office in McMahon Hall - writing to loved ones
It may not seem like a big deal to those who have never experienced anything having to do with suicide or depression, but it’s a powerful cause to get involved in even if you haven’t been directly affected. So many lives are lost due to suicide. Whether it be from the way society is today, adding unnecessary pressure to our everyday lives, or specific problems one is going through in their personal life, no one should feel like they’re alone in a dark place. There are ways to help and ways to prevent suicide, and we can all easily do our part to make a difference.
Tessa Pawlik is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.