Mayra Garcia / The Advocate
Suicide is among the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States, wreaking havoc on families, with no regard for age, sex, or religion.
National Suicide Prevention Month, recognized throughout September, is dedicated to raising awareness and bringing resources to people who may be struggling or know someone who is struggling with thoughts of suicide.
On campus, counseling offers assistance to students in emotional distress. However, those students are already suffering.
Resources should be readily accessible to students, in newsletters or emails, specifically intended to remind students where they can find the necessary mental health resources on campus.
According to the American College Health Association (ACHA), suicide among students ages 15-24, has increased since the 1950s and is the second most common cause of death among college students.
While Contra Costa College is equipped to handle tragedies through their Student Wellness Program, accessible in the Counseling Center, some students may not know about these services.
Dean of Student Services Vicki Ferguson said if students need assistance for mental health they can visit Counseling Office to access consultants trained specifically to handle emotional situations.
But with something as personal as suicide, reaching out for help can be a challenge in itself.
This may warrant the need for a bolder wellness program that approaches problems through face-to-face outreach.
With suicide being so prevalent in society and glamorized by TV shows like “13 Reasons Why,” paying attention to National Suicide Prevention Month can be crucial in making progress toward saving lives.
But the fear of being shamed, or appearing weak in the eyes of peers, may cause someone to avoid seeking help and rather stay quiet about their inner pain.
According to Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE), certain factors like substance abuse, or untreated depression, can lead to higher risk of suicide.
However, there is no common trait that people on the verge of committing suicide will consistently exhibit.
Although some support programs (like the Student Wellness Program) are offered on campus, the information is not universally accessible unless students seek it out for themselves.
There are many reasons that a student might refuse to seek help, but we shouldn’t need to be reminded during designated months that target awareness.
Instead, issues regarding suicide should be addressed among all faculty and staff on a weekly basis with any new information openly shared with the student body for reflection.
For on campus assistance, students can call the Counseling Center at 510-215-3960 or [email protected], or make a drop-in appointment the Counseling Center in SSC-108.
Although taking a life may seem like a selfish act, students must know that they have the support from their community at CCC who will not turn their backs on them. Suicide should be taken with the utmost respect and priority.