Say something for suicide awareness
In last week’s issue of The Setonian, there was an article written about a program to bring awareness to the ever-mounting issue of mental health, called “Send Silence Packing.”
The program featured a striking display of 1,100 backpacks that were presented at college campuses in 75 cities. The 1,100 backpacks represent the number of college students who commit suicide each year, according to Active Minds, an organization concerning mental-health awareness.
Also, last week we learned of the tragic death of a man who was hit by a train in South Orange. A man we now know had been an adjunct professor and master’s student at Seton Hall. There is no confirmation that this was a suicide, but the circumstances of the death do bring home issues of suicide, as people question whether this man jumped in front of the train intentionally.
People tend to not recognize (or do not want to recognize) what is happening when a friend or loved one is going through a tough time, but it is important to pay attention. In an April 13 article by The New York Times headlined “Suicide Prevention Sheds A Longstanding Taboo: Talking About Attempts,” the oldest suicide-prevention organization in the country announced that it will finally be featuring survivors of suicide attempts at awareness programs and events, whereas before speakers only featured schizophrenics, people with bipolar disorders or people suffering from depression.
“But until now, suicide has been virtually taboo, because of not only shame and stigma, but also fears that talking about the act could give others ideas about how to do it,” The Times reported. Maybe people are just afraid to upset their loved ones, maybe they are afraid to admit to themselves their loved ones are suffering from a mental-health issue.
Regardless of the reason, if you truly care about someone, you will put such reservations behind you and step up to help them. There are services on campus, such as Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), for students who need assistance. Please encourage friends and peers to speak up if you feel concerned for their safety.