Suicide Prevention: The Importance Of Taking Action

 Suicide Prevention: The Importance Of Taking Action

Elena Krueper, Editor-in-Chief

According to the CDC, suicide rates have gone up about 30 percent in the last twenty years. 

It has become more and more evident that people need to learn more about suicide prevention. Many statistics show that in recent years, mental health problems in teens are increasing, which can be attributed to stressful factors, environmental, social and otherwise.  Mrs. Jennifer Andrews, the counselor for the Business and International Relations School of Study, stated, “In March,  I read an article that said suicide was the 2nd leading cause of death among teenagers, and that proves how important it is to focus on prevention and helping teens.”

Teens should make an effort to try and recognize when a friend or family member might be showing signs that their bad mood could be something more serious.  It’s important to kill the stigmas that come with getting help for mental health issues. Reaffirming this, Mrs. Andrews communicated, “It’s important to discuss suicide prevention so everyone knows what signs to look for when talking to family and friends. We also need to change the stigma surrounding suicide, because it is not a topic we can afford to remain silent about or sweep under the rug. The more we talk about suicide prevention, the more others will feel comfortable opening up and starting a conversation with someone in need.”

Environmental factors have also been proven to play a role in suicide rates.  Looking at suicide rates by state, some variables jump out. Accessibility to lethal means is a large one. Another is how the environment responds to mental health.  If a stigma prevails that seeing someone is a negative, or if there is a glorification of suicide, these affect how a community responds. Andrews continued: “There is no one leading cause of suicide, because many things come into play: bullying, mental illness, pressure from family or friends, social media, just to name a few.  These can all be found within environmental and social conditions.” Social factors are also attributed to suicide rates.  It is often the individual who feels isolated and lonely who chooses to take his or her own life.  In recent years, with the onset of COVID-19, everyone began to feel some of the effects of isolation.  Depression rose greatly.  Suicide prevention had never been more important and necessary.  Many people turned to various forms of counseling to lose their blues.  This helped to mainstream the idea that mental health is another important component of overall health.   

That being said, Andrews wanted to remind students: “It is important that students know they are not alone, and there is always someone who would take time to talk if it means one less suicide.  It is okay to take things one day at a time; if that is too much, just focus on one hour at a time.  Most importantly, just know every adult in this building is here for you.  We all have a role in suicide prevention, and when we see something that is not right, we need to tell someone immediately.”

Life is hard, and sometimes people need a little help.