This isn’t an easy topic. Most people don’t know what to say or can’t find the words to say it correctly. It’s hard, it’s real and it is heartbreaking. I fall into the category of not knowing what to say. I don’t know if I’ll ever find the right words, but I know I have to at least try. So here it goes.
Now according to the Association of American Universities one in every five college kids have thought about suicide. One in every five. Now take a minute and let’s think, chances are you know more than five people in college. That means someone you know may have thought about suicide. When you think of college you don’t think of sadness, you think of opportunity, fun and finding yourself. The truth is that college kids are stressed, confused and being forced to fit into certain boundaries and expectations. So we know that classes won’t change, the work won’t change and how kids feel won’t change. What we can change is our awareness. Let’s look at the warning signs.
- Depression or loss of interest
- Increased drug and alcohol use
- Highly irritable and angry
- Increased anxiety and shame
- If they talk about wanting to end their life or if everything would just be easier with them gone
A lot of the time people will talk and bring up suicide without anyone noticing. They feel trapped, they can’t escape the pain and it will show. Pay attention a little bit, ask them every once in awhile how they’re doing, and take the time to see them or talk. If you notice someone with those signs, but feel too uncomfortable to talk to them you can contact the counseling center at their school. There are people willing and wanting to help.
This is a hard subject to talk about, but it needs to happen. Talk to your friends, your kids, your family, or whoever you can. We need to be aware and supportive of one another. You never know who may be struggling.
If you’re in college well this last part is just for you.
I know how hard it is. You are working hard, you don’t sleep much and it feels as if you’re getting pulled into 12 different directions. And with all of that it still feels like you aren’t doing enough. Things become hard and you don’t want to leave your bed, maybe you go to sleep hoping to not wake up the next day. All of those feelings are more normal than you think. Chances are, even some of your friends feel the same way. Don’t do it though. You can get help because that feeling is not permanent. It can feel like you’re drowning and you want the feeling to stop, but you can get help. People know what that feels like and they know how to fix it. There are a ton of resources on every campus. If you don’t want to do that there are also a lot online. There are ways to fix it, I promise. Whatever you are feeling can be changed with some help. It can seem too hard or even embarrassing, but I promise you that it will get better once you get help. You can do this, you are amazing and strong. The world needs you, don’t forget that.