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

Subtlety favored approach to suicide prevention

By Karina Mosqueda/reporter

Suicide is the second-leading cause of death among adults between the ages of 25-34. In the state of Texas, suicide causes about 2,500 deaths a year, averaging around six people a day, NW students learned Nov. 5.

NW counselor Brentom Jackson presented Ask about Suicide: To Save a Life to help students learn about suicide and how to refer someone who is at risk for suicidal behavior. ASK is a gatekeeper training program to save a life: Ask, Seek and Know, Jackson said.

“Ask about a suicide. Don’t be afraid, seek more information, keep the person safe, in general a person who has knowledge and general basic skills to being a gatekeeper,” he said.

In Texas, 90 percent of those who die by suicide have an underlying mental health or substance abuse condition, which puts those in a high-risk factor, such as bipolar and schizophrenia, Jackson said.

Illustration courtesy Department of Defense
Illustration courtesy Department of Defense

Other risk factors are social-cultural, which includes bullying, obesity and stigma of not wanting or asking for help and environmental factors such as loss of a job, financial issues and relationship problems.

When asking about suicide, Jackson suggested people be sensitive instead of direct.

“Sometimes when people are as sad as you, they think about suicide. Have you ever thought about it?” he suggested as a conversation starter.

Jackson told the students to be aware of their nonverbal reactions and tone of voice.

When seeking information, Jackson also suggested they find a private area to talk, seek to establish a relationship and find out how long the person had thought about suicide.

“The most important thing to seek is who and where they normally go to for help — whether it’s a family member, roommate or girl/boyfriend,” he said.

As helpers seek information, they should make sure the person is safe and away from high-risk items such as access to pills, a gun or any other item that may harm them.

The last step is to know where to refer nationally, in Texas and in one’s school or in the community.

“The No. 1 go-to number that you can call and give your exact location to is 1-800-273-TALK unless you are locked in a room with the person holding a gun. Then call 911,” Jackson said, smiling.

The 800 phone number is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

“Providing this information, I hope it can be useful for the lives of students to help be successful here at Tarrant County,” he said.

Ask About Suicide: To Save a Life will be repeated 9-10 a.m. Nov. 20 in the Michael Saenz Conference Center (WACB 1123) on NW Campus.

Donate to The Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian