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

South Campus counselor raises suicide awareness

By Justin Gladney/reporter

One-half of students consider suicide at some point in their college careers, a South Campus audience was told March 21.

“That is scary to me,” said South Campus counselor Leonard Hornsby during his Suicide Awareness presentation.

Suicide is the second-leading cause of death for people age 15 to 24 and claims about 4,000 lives each year, Hornsby said, adding that the suicide rate for males is almost six times higher than that for females.

This could be, he said, because our society expects men to hold in their feelings and fears while women expressing their emotions is seen as normal.

Hornsby said 20 percent of American high school students have seriously considered attempting suicide in the past 12 months and 8 percent of the twenty will make an attempt. American/Alaskan natives have the highest suicide rate at 20 percent, he said, followed by whites, 10.3; Asians, 8.5; Hispanics, 7.0; and African-Americans, 6.0.

Hornsby said that 70 percent of youth who have attempted suicide have frequently used alcohol and drugs.

“They are trying to self-medicate themselves, trying to get rid of the pain,” he said.

He emphasized the necessity for people to pay attention to their friends and watch for warning signs of changing behavior and suicidal thoughts.

“In many communities, talking about going to see a counselor is taboo,” Hornsby said. “The first thing people think is, ‘Are you crazy?’”

As a result, he said, people with suicidal thoughts often will not seek professional help because of fear of peer reaction.

Hornsby outlined some ways to help someone who might be thinking of suicide, such as asking the person directly, being willing to listen without judgments and remaining with them if they seem suicidal and even calling 911 if it seems warranted.

Also, he said, people can be helped by having a chance to pour out their emotions and feelings as to why they are suicidal.

Finally, Hornsby said, it helps to get involved with and become available for such people so they have someone to turn to when they feel helpless or alone.

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