A group of students at Salt Lake Community College would like to spread awareness for suicide prevention.
Five students at SLCC — David Moctezuma, David Jorgensen, Diamond Le, Estrella Lozano and Nathan Neiman — have started a campaign for a course project that involves trying to spread awareness for suicide prevention. The statistics involving suicide can be very frightening, and it is the goal of this project to help reduce the number of suicides in any way.
Along with writing this article, there will be fliers published around campus, and a video sharing how anyone around you can have suicidal thoughts and how you can help, or what you can do if you are having these thoughts.
Another main goal of this project and article is to talk about suicide and not make it this “taboo” topic we cannot discuss. We want to break down the wall of a topic that has been hushed by society and open the door for discussion before someone takes their life.
Suicide is not discriminating; it can affect anyone. It can happen to kids, teens, young adults, the older generations, men, women, teachers, leaders, your neighbor, and even your friend. Knowing how to help, or how to get help for yourself, is the first step.
Almost everyone has been affected by suicide in some way, and it can be a very difficult subject for people to talk about. The goal of this project is to make it easier for someone to get help, or help someone who has reached out to you.
The most important thing is to understand the warning signs of someone contemplating suicide. According to the SAVE (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education) organization, there are warning signs a person may need urgent help:
- Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself.
- Looking for a way to kill oneself.
- Talking about feeling hopeless or having no purpose.
- Talking about feeling trapped or being in unbearable pain.
- Talking about being a burden to others.
- Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs.
- Acting anxious, agitated or reckless.
- Sleeping too little or too much.
- Withdrawing or feeling isolated.
- Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.
- Displaying extreme mood swings.
Along with warning signs, everyone should be aware of risk factors, which are characteristics that make a person more likely to attempt suicide. According to the SAVE organization, risk factors include:
- Mental disorders, particularly mood disorders, schizophrenia, anxiety and other disorders.
- Alcohol and other substance use problems.
- Impulsive and/or aggressive tendencies.
- History of trauma or abuse.
- Major physical or chronic illness.
- Previous suicide attempt.
- Family history of suicide.
- Recent job or financial loss.
- Recent loss of relationship.
- Easy access to lethal means.
- Lack of health care.
- Stigma involved with asking for help.
The World Health Organization states that close to 800,000 people die from suicide every year, which is one person every 40 seconds. These averages are similar to pandemic numbers, which everyone is familiar with now. There needs to be more done to prevent suicide.
If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or behaviors, we strongly encourage you to reach out. Just remember, everyone has a past they might not share or thoughts that might scare people, but if they reach out or say something, that is their call for help. Don’t brush off someone’s feelings or thoughts, because you could be the person that helps and saves someone, or you could be the stick that breaks the camel’s back.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
- 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Crisis Teen Text Line
- Text “LISTEN” to 741-741
SLCC Center for Health and Counseling
- Counseling sessions: $10 to enrolled students
Safe Utah Crisis Prevention Lifeline