National Suicide Prevention Week

Alyse Nelson
Features Editor

Most college students can recount a story of a friend contemplating suicide or a time in their own lives when depression, and other thoughts, began to form.
Cited as the third leading cause of death among college-aged adults, suicide rates could possibly be reduced through community outreach and education.
The Student Counseling Center is holding a weeklong event in observance of National Suicide Prevention Week.
From September 8-12, the SCC will be taking steps to both draw attention to a serious concern on campus as well as to educate students more on the topic.
Beginning Monday, 1,000 black flags will be displayed on the North Quad for the entirety of the week.
Counselor Fran Scheel stated, “they symbolize the lives lost to suicide each year.”
While the SCC was on the Bibb Graves Quad yesterday, Sept. 10, with important information regarding suicide, counselors are always available to talk confidentially about the matter.
The SCC recommends that if a friend is talking about suicide:

• Listen closely without judgment.
• Remain calm. Treat the talk seriously. Show by your tone and manner that you are concerned.
• Genuinely acknowledge the pain and confusion your friend feels.
• Urge your friend to seek professional help. Offer to go along to a crisis center or counseling appointment.
• If the person is in danger, don’t leave him or her alone. Remove weapons or other means of self-harm. Call 911. Get someone else to help you.
• Tell a professional about the situation, even if it means breaking confidence. You could be saving a person’s life.
If you are contemplating suicide:
• Take it seriously. Treat it as you would severe physical symptoms.
• Don’t try to “go at it alone.” It can be hard to tell these thoughts to others and ask for help, but it’s very important to do so.
• Talk to a mental health professional on campus. Services are free and confidential for all Troy campus students.
• Talk to others who can offer support. Choose people you trust, who won’t judge you, and will urge you to get appropriate care, such as parents, friends, family, teachers or clergy.
• Avoid alcohol or other drugs. They will increase the risk of you harming yourself.

Students can contact the Student Counseling Center at (334) 670-3700 to make an appointment.

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