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“How many teens need to commit suicide before people start realizing that phrases like ‘kill yourself’ will never be okay?” -Anonymous

September honors those passed due to suicide and raises awareness about how to prevent it from happening. People who make the impulsive decision to kill themselves are usually depressed and hopeless. Oftentimes, they’re crying out for help and don’t know how else to get it.

On an average day, one person ends their life every 17 minutes. Yearly, suicide takes the lives of about one million people. Specifically among young people, suicide is the THIRD most common cause of death (CBP).

There are many ways young people can get involved to prevent suicide. On September 10th, multiple students wrote, “love” on their wrists or wore yellow to show support for anyone who has thoughts of attempting or has taken their own life.

It’s important to know the common warning signs of someone who could be feeling suicidal: depression, feelings of hopelessness, impulsiveness, extreme anxiety, agitation, risky behavior, withdrawal from others, giving away treasured belongings, loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyed, or abuse of alcohol, drugs, or other substances.

You can always ACT to prevent suicide. A: ask the question – “Are you thinking of taking your life?” C: Care – “Listen with compassion and voice your concern,” T: Take action – “Seek professional help.”

Students around BLHS might not know everything they think there is to know about their peers. One student is deciding to share her student solely to help others struggling. Although she is speaking out, she would like to remain anonymous.

“Throughout middle school, I struggled with anxiety and depression. Going into high school, everything started to get better. I finished up with therapy and was feeling better than ever. However, that didn’t last long. Towards the end of the year and going into the summer, I was relapsing with my depression. Against my will, my mom forced me back into counseling and I was put on more meds than necessary. Day by day, everything would get worse. Even though I had a couple of distant friends, I felt so incredibly alone.

“Checking up on them every once in awhile is good. You could end up saving a life.””

— Anonymous BLHS Student

The only time things were okay happened to be when I managed to get a couple of hours of sleep. Feeling worthless, hopeless and empty…I tried to take my life by swallowing a bunch of pills. The next thing I remember is waking up in a hospital hooked up to a bunch of tubes. After figuring out why I was there, I didn’t know what to think. Was this a sign I needed to keep fighting? Yes, it was. After being an in-patient and talking to people in the hospital my age fighting the same battle, I had something I lacked for the longest time: hope.”

She continued, “Looking back now, I cannot believe I let myself break. Of course I still have my bad days today, but never so bad that I want to be taken off of this earth. Although I was responsible for what happened, I wish someone would’ve reached out to me in response to my silent cries of help. My advice for anyone is to always be there for your friends. Even if you think everything is okay, it might not be. Checking up on them every once in awhile is good. You could end up saving a life.”

“Lastly, to anyone going through a difficult time; I promise you, it will get better,” the student said.

A suicidal person may not ask for help, but that doesn’t mean that help isn’t wanted. Most people who commit suicide don’t want to die; they just want to stop hurting. Suicide prevention starts with recognizing the warning signs and taking them seriously.

Crisis Call Center
800-273-8255 or text ANSWER to 839863
Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week

Depression and Bipolar Support
800-273-TALK (8255)
Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week

National Hopeline Network
800-SUICIDE (784-2433)
800-442-HOPE (4673)
Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week

Suicide Prevention Services Depression Hotline
630-482-9696
Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week

Thursday’s Child National Youth Advocacy Hotline
800-USA-KIDS (800-872-5437)
Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week

Your Life Iowa: Bullying Support and Suicide Prevention
(855) 581-8111 (24/7) or text TALK to 85511 (4–8 PM every day)
Chat is available Mondays–Thursdays from 7:30 PM–12:00 AM

CrisisChat.org
Online Emotional Support
Hours Vary – Approx 12hrs daily / 7 days

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