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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

NE discusses suicide signs in ASK session

TexasSuicidePrevention.org
TexasSuicidePrevention.org

By Misti DeHart/ nw news editor

ASK Gatekeepers Training was sorely overdue on TCC campuses as well as Texas colleges in general, a NE counselor and ASK presenter said Nov. 3.

TexasSuicidePrevention.org
TexasSuicidePrevention.org

Suicide is the second-leading cause of death among Texans ages 25-34, TexasSuicidePrevention.org reported.

“That number is crucial because the average age of students right now at Tarrant County College is 26,” Masika Smith said.

This cause is also hitting home this time of year because Veterans Day highlights the number of veterans committing suicide, Smith said.

“Each day in the United States, there are 22 war veterans who make the decision to end their lives,” she said. “That comes out to around 7.5 a day in Texas. Where do they go? Who do they turn to? Are you, as students, equipped with the knowledge to get these wonderful people the help they need?”

Since its adoption in 2005, over 10,000 Texans, comprised of concerned citizens as well as professionals, have received the ASK Gatekeeper training, Smith said. The basis of ASK is to equip all citizens with the ability to handle a situation with someone they believe is imminently suicidal.

“ASK is an acronym,” Smith said. “‘Ask’ the person if they are currently feeling suicidal. ‘Seek’ more info on exactly what the person means (as well as keep them safe while an outcome is being determined). Basically, don’t leave their side. And finally, ‘know’ where and how to refer those people to help.”

NE student Presley Adams was pleased with the information learned during the seminar.

“I’m really glad that you guys are saying that it’s OK to call 911,” she said. “I guess I’ve only thought of that as a lifeline for when someone was killed — maybe I watch too much television! But I’m glad to know that government agencies are saying, you know, ‘Yeah. We’ve got this. Call us.’ I, unfortunately, have dealt with quite a few people who are hurting, and it’s good to know I have someone to call to help me out if I don’t know what to do or say.”

The ASK program is currently distributed through Texas over college campuses, hospitals and workplaces. TCC has made this seminar available on four of its five campuses. For more information about upcoming seminars or for personal counseling regarding ASK, contact Smith at masika.smith@tccd.edu.

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