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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

SE counselor reveals suicide prevention, warning signs

By Mason Prince/reporter

SE students heard about suicide statistics, some warning signs and ways suicide can be prevented during a presentation Sept. 11.

SE counselor Michele Faith said the feelings leading up to suicide are “monumental storm clouds: black, heavy and encompassing.”

Statistics from the American Association of Suicidology show that in 2010, 38,364 people committed suicide in the U.S., making suicide the 10th leading cause of death in all age groups.

For anyone who suspects that a friend, family member or co-worker might be contemplating suicide, discussing the topic might save a life, Faith said.

Suicidal threats, obsession with death, out-of-character behavior and loss of interest in hobbies are just a few of the red flags. Faith said giving away or donating possessions may also signal loss of hope in life.

Other tip-offs could be social issues, such as dysfunction in the family or a stressful life event, such as being fired or laid off.

A popular belief is that there is a “suicide gene”: a hereditary disorder making some more prone to attempting the act than others. However, the University of Notre Dame Counseling Center states, “There is no genetic predisposition to suicide — it does not ‘run in the family.’”

Nevertheless, Faith said that certain people could be more prone to considering suicide if they have close relatives who committed suicide.

Another common assumption is that talking to potential victims about suicidal feelings may cause them to commit suicide. But Faith said discussing suicide openly and showing support is one of the most helpful things people can do. 

In more extreme cases, some suicide victims will shut down physically, emotionally and mentally, Faith said. Therefore, relaying the victims’ signs and circumstances to a close friend is extremely important. Communication is key to helping restore hope.

If students see fellow students showing suicidal tendencies or using trigger words, Faith said there are a few ways to reach out. TCC’s counselors handle a multitude of social and personal issues, including people with suicidal thoughts. Yet if there isn’t a sufficient amount of time to reach one of them, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

“If someone is actively threatening the act, do not blow it off,” she said. 

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