The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Suicide major epidemic among young people, SE speaker says

By Sam Mannah/reporter

Most students have had bad days, and many may even feel their lives are one long bad day.

But how many can imagine their days being so bad that they would want to end them?

Patrick LeBlanc of the Jason Foundation told SE Campus students suicide is a major epidemic within this society.

In his Feb. 7 presentation, LeBlanc also addressed ways to become more aware of suicide: learning the signs of major depression, knowing how to intervene and encouraging someone to seek help.

“We will lose in excess of 5,000 young people annually in Texas, and this estimate is only based on those victims who left behind a suicide note,” he said.

In a typical week, LeBlanc said, there are 19,000 attempts of suicide.

According to some research, girls attempt suicide three times more frequently than boys do, LeBlanc said.

Boys more often complete suicide attempts since they also are more likely to use firearms.

Females are more likely to use drugs, he said.

“Studies show that suicide is the second leading cause of death among college age students, and the third leading cause of death in ages 15-24 within our nation,” he said.

LeBlanc said suicide claimed more people last year than cancer, heart disease and AIDS.

“Studies also show that we have lost more people from suicide within the last 12 years than all those that died in Vietnam,” he said.

LeBlanc is regional coordinator of the Jason Foundation, whose objective is to spread the message of this major epidemic that has become prevalent in U.S. society.

He said one of the first steps toward prevention is to make people aware.

While suicide is not a disease that can be diagnosed, people can become aware of some warning signs and elevated risks that are associated with suicide.

Some elevated risks include changes in school status, for example, a student who once was one of the best athletes and most talked-about in high school, but in college no one knew who he was.

Other examples of elevated risks are low self-esteem, loner behavior, abuse of drugs and substance, physical or other abuse or neglect. Suicide cannot be medically diagnosed, but it can be detected by clues and warning signs.

Examples of some clues and warning signs are people making statements such as “I would be better off dead” or “You won’t have me around much longer to bother you.”

LeBlanc said more warning signs include making suggestions on funeral arrangements at a young age, making rounds or visiting friends to set things right or giving away prized possessions.

“ It’s not that we want to be critical of every move people make or things they say when they are upset or depressed, but we shouldn’t overlook or take for granted the common things that people say or do because it can be a warning sign of suicide,” he said.

“Awareness is the key to prevention and minimization,” he said. “When people are aware, they become alert in identifying people that are suicidal.”

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