Suicide prevention awareness workshops commemorate month

By Josh Robertson/se news editor

Suicide is the second-leading cause of death for people ages 10 through 34, and the numbers continue to rise each year.

With September being Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, SE Campus will host the Silent Epidemic of Suicide workshop at 11:45 a.m. Sept. 13 in the North Ballroom to help students understand the facts, risk factors and warning signs associated with suicide.

South Campus will host Question, Persuade and Refer training at 1:30 p.m. Sept. 14 in SSTU 1101A, where students can learn how to identify and prevent suicides.

White males have the highest suicide rates, and their main weapon of choice to commit suicide is a gun. White males are the worst among any other race when it comes to the rate at which they are dying.

“Males tend to outnumber females 3.5 to 1, so for every 3.5 men who commit suicide, there’s only one woman,” said SE counselor Michele Faith.

Women more often will attempt suicide and not complete it, Faith said. When men decide to commit suicide, they’re more likely to follow through with it.

Ninety percent of those who die by suicide have an underlying mental health or substance abuse condition. Alcohol is a factor in about 20 percent of all suicides.

Faith said part of the challenge is making people aware of these facts.

“In certain ethnic communities, it was never heard of, but now with social media and bullying, it’s going up,” Faith said. “It used to be word of mouth. It took you a week before you could find out something. But now, everything is right in your face. It’s really sad.”

Suicides for white males have tripled since 1950 and more than doubled for children ages 10 through 14. In fact, up to 50 percent of fatal traffic accidents may be attempted suicides.

“You know how someone will drive off into a culvert or something? Not because they’re swerving from traffic or anything, they just did it. Now I think that’s sad,” Faith said. “We need to learn how to just talk to people. That can be the thing that truly helps someone and stops them from wanting to kill themselves.”