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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 seminar shows suicide’s full scope

By Mit’Chell Lee/ reporter

For every three murders in the U.S., there are five suicides, a SE audience learned April 13.

“Suicide is a critical matter, but it needs to be known that it is treatable,” said Amy Haller, a speaker for the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention.

Haller said many people have suffered and are suffering because of suicide.

“We need to create a smart and helpful way to say suicide without cringing,” she said.

As part of her presentation, Haller showed The Truth About Suicide, a video that cited nine out of 10 people who die from suicide suffer from a mental illness such as bipolar disorder.

“There are so many illnesses that lead up to one taking their own life away,” the narrator said.

Haller said she understands the matter having gone through such a situation with her brother in 2004.

“He struggled with bipolar disorder and took his own life,” she said. “I used to be afraid to tell that story, but now that I do, more people have opened up to me, saying how they are going through the same thing.”

People interviewed in the video who had lost a loved one to suicide had one thing in common.

“The most horrible feeling is having a friend or member brought out in a body bag,” they said.

The video also offered tips for being aware of potential suicides, suggesting people staying open to the possibility of someone endangering him/herself. Some of the signs for potential suicide mentioned in the video include depression, change in attitude, writings about death or constant unhappiness as well as suicide letters, cuttings, extreme emotions and constant jokes about death or harming oneself.

“To people who haven’t been through depression, it’s hard to understand,” one student said in the video. “While living, there should be a healthy mindset when feeling down, knowing things will get better. But in depression, it feels like there is no end to this pain.”

Depression is all around, Haller said.

“If signs are seen, don’t wait,” she said. “Don’t hope things will get better. Go to a counselor. Ask for help.”

Treatment for depression is successful more than 80 percent of the time, Haller said. If people are worried, they can contact a suicide prevention lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK. The website offers information on how to help oneself or someone else and reach out.

Two out of three people suffer from depression and never get help, Haller said,

“Reaching out is the most important and first step to not fearing this matter,” she said.

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