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

Speak up to prevent suicides

The Sea of Trees in Japan at the bottom of Mount Fuji is the No. 2 place for people to go to take their own lives. The No. 1 is right here in the U.S. — the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

Suicide is among the top 10 leading causes of death, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. For every suicide death, 11 people attempt it. In 2007, it was the third leading cause of death for people between ages 16 and 24.

Last week, a youth TV host announced that his organization would launch a yearlong campaign to fight against suicide. Chad Daniel, who hosts a California-based youth television show called YouthBytes, is challenging schools, churches, radio stations, community centers and television stations to participate in their own Life Event.

Life Events call for the showing of a 15-minute documentary on the Sea of Trees made by Daniel and a discussion to provide honest and open communication avenues for those who may struggle with suicide.

At a time when school shootings, mental health issues and suicide are unfortunately more prominent, TCC should consider holding its own Life Event on at least one campus.

“From the second the 15-minute video played, our teens were captured by the intensity and honesty that was spoken that evening. The video was truthful, and at times, quite shocking,” youth minister Richard Villanueva said about the Life Event his church hosted. “Chad and the media presentation he brought didn’t pull any punches and confronted the issue head-on, explaining that the real victims of suicide are those who survive — family and friends.”

Daniel himself faced suicide when his father took his own life, but he uses his documentary and his testimony to reach out to those who face suicide in their lives as well. He gives outlets and tools to help and asks others to reach out and do the same.

This is another chance for TCC to make a difference in a student’s life, and the college should participate in this nationwide request by embracing the idea. TCC can even arrange to have Daniel speak to students.

Daniel said in a press release that he’s making himself available throughout 2011 to raise awareness about suicide and this movement to help those who struggle.

Sometimes all it takes is a voice to reach out and say if you’re struggling, you have a choice. Sometimes making yourself available to listen is all that it takes to help.

Students, faculty and staff have the ability to make that difference, and it can start with a Life Event.

Suicide is a serious issue, but nothing can be done if no one speaks up.

 

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