Suicide Prevention Month

Suicide Prevention Month

Rachel Durkin, Staff Writer

The month of September is recognized as Suicide Prevention Month, with September 10 being Suicide Prevention Day.  This month is used to unite and promote suicide prevention awareness worldwide. Mental health advocates, survivors and their families, along with prevention organizations, work together to create a better community for those struggling. 

The World Health Organization documents that about 703,000 people every year die due to suicide and is also the fourth leading cause of of death in 15-19-year-olds. Studies also show that the use of social media has been linked to things such as body dysmorphia and low self esteem. These are effects from things such as cyberbullying, which also can associate with mental health issues like depression and anxiety leading further to suicidal thoughts or tendencies. 

According to the West Virginia Education Association, social media is such a negative influence because on average, teens use social media for six to nine hours a day in the United States which is more than the time even spent in school. 

Nicole Herrera, a senior, uses suicide prevention as her platform in the Miss America Organization.

Herrera shares, ”Mental illnesses are the most common leading factor to suicide, yet only 64.4% of people with a mental illness receive treatment. It is my mission to increase that number”.

A goal that Herrera is trying to reach is to listen to those who are struggling and help those we are in need overall to decrease the amount of suicides in America. She also mentions a method that would help create a better community for those who are struggling is pledge cards. She plans to hand out these cards to students and for to-go orders at restaurants.

Simple acts of kindness can make a difference in a person’s day and could reflect on other people. The amount of negativity spread on social media has risen over the years. This has major effects on mental health. It is always important to reach out when you need help.

There are various organizations available to help those who are struggling. There are also online options if an individual does not feel comfortable going in person during these times. Some of these include LiveHealth Online, Teladoc, and Amwell. If someone is immediately in need of help, the National Suicide Hotline is 800-273-8255.