This week (Sept. 9-13) is National Suicide Prevention Week, and as it comes to a close, I look back on it and what it means for me, as well as for everyone whose lives have been affected by suicide.
For context on why this is such an important week in our nation, suicide is the 10thleading cause of death in the U.S.; there are approximately 129 suicides every day, and in 2017, that amounted to 14 suicides per 100,000 people, according to AFSP.org.
Suicide is a public health problem that has contributed to the U.S. life expectancy being lowered for three years in a row, according to the Smithsonian.
I have lost people very close to me because of this. It is because of these tragedies that I plan to become a clinical social worker, working in suicide prevention and serving as a mental health counselor for depression and anxiety.
Through National Suicide Prevention Week, this week, our nation sets aside just a little bit of time to acknowledge those who did not see a better way. Our job, in turn, is to work to find better ways to reach these people, provide them with counseling, resources, and treatment that can help them help themselves.
At Texas A&M University, this amounted to the “Not Another Aggie” Suicide Prevention Walk. At this event, there were fifteen resource booths, a candle light vigil was held for loved ones who had passed, and Aggies walked around campus so that anyone who might be struggling could see how many people really do care about them and are willing to help them find ways to get help.
It was truly an awe-inspiring event for me to be a part of.
If anyone is struggling, or feeling like there is no other way out, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
Never be afraid to reach out for help.