W calls attention to suicide awareness

Velvet Case

Religion Editor

Suicide. When people hear this word, it either scares them or does not mean anything to them at all.

This word may induce fear because a person knew someone who committed suicide, thus the word has a vivid memory attached.

Contrarily, the word may be something that a person never thinks about. Many people are oblivious to the seriousness of suicide issues in our generation.

Just because you do not know someone who has committed suicide, it does not mean that people you know are not considering it.

With the pressures of college decisions, family trouble, broken relationships and life in general, some young people think that everything would be better if they gave up their lives.

Recently MUW reached out to the campus to increase suicide awareness and to aid people in recognizing when their friends or family members might need help.

Online sources provide information on how to identify the many signs of suicidal thoughts. Talking about being a burden to others, isolation, increasing alcohol or drug intake, talking about dying or killing oneself, feeling hopeless, constantly acting angry and agitated, displaying mood swings and looking for ways to kill oneself are all symptoms of suicidal thoughts.

The W offers a counseling center to students who live on and off campus. The counseling center sponsors programs that will alert and educate students about the topic of suicide.

On April 21, chairs were placed throughout the campus to symbolize the lives lost to suicide. More than 70 suicide accounts were placed on the various chairs, and students wore yellow ribbons to increase awareness.

"It is often very powerful to see the actual number of those students instead of reading the number on a piece of paper," shared Rachel Franklin, a student counselor.

The chairs were displayed on April 21 from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. This display was a part of the Passport to Wellness program, sponsored by Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi.

"The program helped give a visual of the actual amount of college students who pass away by suicide each year," said Franklin.

As was the desired result, many students' hearts were touched by the display and asked how to give help to a friend dealing with suicidal thoughts.