No One Else Can Play Your Part

by Christine Pitts
@cpitts_

Last year Newsweek posted an article called “The Suicide Epidemic”. This article highlighting many frightening facts on suicide, such as suicide is the second leading cause of death among young adults in the United States and suicide now takes more lives than war, natural disasters and murder combined. In addition, Garlow and associates found that the highest rate of suicide was found students whom were enrolled in graduate school and those students over the age 25 (2008). As a graduate student in my mid-twenties I feel it is important to share these numbers.


These numbers are scary and saddening. I am in this age group. I look to my friends, my peers, as well as to the students who I work with on campus and I wonder what they are thinking. I wonder who is struggling, but choosing to stay silent.


Today, September 10, 2014, is World Suicide Prevention Day and September as a whole is Suicide Prevention Month. I can’t think of a better month to start the fall semester. There are many awareness campaigns colleges and universities utilize to bring awareness about suicide, specifically among the college student demographic. This is the perfect month to encourage people who are struggling. Start a conversation. Let your students, your friends, and your peers know that it is okay to ask for help. Let them know how important they are by telling them that no one else can play their part.


This year To Write Love On Her Arms campaign for World Suicide Prevention Day is “No One Else Can Play Your Part”. Your story is important. You are a puzzle piece in this world and without you someone’s puzzle would be incomplete. As a graduate student in student affairs I have come to work mental health awareness into my story. I believe one of the reasons I have found my place in student affairs is because of those numbers. My goal is to bring students hope and remind them that it’s okay to not be okay and it’s okay to ask for help. That is a piece of my story I intend on living for a long time, because I believe in those words and I know they are true for every single person on this earth.


Today on social media you can use: #WSPD14 & #NoOneElse14 hastags to tell your story, connect with others or express your feelings on suicide prevention. Also, feel free to leave a comment below to share you story – I would love to hear it!

Does your campus have a campaign for suicide awareness day or month? Share your college/ universities campaign/activities below or connect with me on twitter (@cpitts_).



References
 

Garlow, S., Rosenberg, J., Moore, D., Haas, A.P., Koestner, B., Hendin, H., & Nemeroff, C.B.
(2008). Depression, desperation, and suicidal ideation in college students: Results from
the american foundation for suicide prevention college screening project at emory
university. Depression and Anxiety, (25) 482-488.

Student Affairs - the First Years

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