DO YOU COPY? Awareness necessary to stop suicide

The Daily News

Though we sometimes see deaths from suicide in the news, we rarely hear about suicide attempts. With the death of a celebrity, suicide reaches the news, but thousands of suicide attempts remain concealed.


Along with many other reasons, the impact and sensitivity of suicide makes the media hesitant to cover it. Despite this, we need to recognize its prevalence in our society.


Among 15 to 24-year-olds, suicide causes 20 percent of annual deaths, according to “Suicide Facts at a Glance” on cdc.gov. Also in this age group, there are 100 attempts for every suicide death. 


If we only react when people actually die from suicide, then no lives will be saved. We have to acknowledge attempts. Stopping suicide is about prevention and awareness, but how can we prevent what we are not aware of?


Thoughts of suicide reach numerous people on campus and in Muncie. A heightened awareness of this epidemic is the only way to halt it. 


From the counseling center to crisis prevention lines to the Alive Campaign, a club devoted to raising awareness for suicide, there is an extensive amount of resources available at Ball State. Yet this work can only succeed if students listen. These organizations are attempting to bring information and trainings, such as safeTALK and Question, Persuade, and Refer. Students must take these opportunities to educate themselves.


It is likely that almost every student on campus has experienced or knows someone who has experienced suicidal thoughts. “Suicide Facts at a Glance” also points out that the presence of suicidal thoughts is highest among 15 to 24-year-olds.


Respect is an essential part of aiding our peers. It has become common behavior to joke about suicide in a frivolous way, with phrases such as “I’m going to kill myself” being used ignorantly. Insensitivity only makes it more difficult to understand the impact of suicide. It makes it more difficult for those experiencing suicidal thoughts to open up and get help.


We have to show our friends and family that we are there for them, and we have to take steps so that we know how to help. 


Awareness is the first step. Prevention comes after that. Deaths by suicide are a mistake, a tragedy that should not happen. But the problem will never be solved by starting at the end, trying to move backwards by only notifying people of deaths. We must know that these attempts are occurring, that people are suffering from these thoughts.


Open your heart to those around you who may be suffering, and take a step to educate yourself. The more we pay attention to this epidemic, the more lives we can save.

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