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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

Speaker helps students identify warning signs

SE+counselor+Michelle+Faith+speaks+about+suicide%2C+the+leading+cause+of+death+for+10-to-34-year-olds+in+Texas.
SE counselor Michelle Faith speaks about suicide, the leading cause of death for 10-to-34-year-olds in Texas. Photo by Gabrielle Saleh/The Collegian

By Lana Shuck/reporter

Suicide is the second-leading cause of the death for 10-to-34-year-olds in Texas, a speaker told a SE audience Sept. 13.

The Texas Youth Risk Behavior Survey in 2011 found more than one in 10 Texas students attempted suicide. An average of eight people die from suicide each day in Texas.

“It’s substantial,” said SE counselor Michelle Faith, who is also president of the Texas College Counseling Association. “Warning signs are any out-of-character behaviors and loss of interest in normal stuff or withdrawing.”

These can be abrupt changes in academics, appearance, behavior or personality; loss of interest in work and school; despairing attitudes and feeling hopeless about the future; making threats such as “I would be better off dead,” or “I am going to kill myself”; making final arrangements by giving or throwing away possessions; and making rounds to visit friends, to set things right or say goodbye.

“Don’t be afraid to ask that question: ‘Are you thinking of suicide?’” Faith said. “It’s really the best thing to do.”

People shouldn’t be afraid to talk to those who may have suicidal tendencies, Faith said. The belief that talking about suicidal feelings may cause someone to commit suicide isn’t true.

Faith said it’s important to know when to take immediate action.

“Stay with the person. Call 911. Tell someone who can help,” she advised.

Faith suggested turning to a physician, teacher, parent, counselor, minister, an emergency room worker or anyone nearby. They can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255). People in Tarrant County can call My Health My Resources at 817-335-3022, and an MHMR crisis team will be sent to help.

SE student Samson Badejo said others need to hear more about suicide prevention.

“This topic is underrated,” Badejo said. “More people should take the initiative to learn about suicide.”

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