Suicide 

Unfortunately, many people turn to suicide as an escape. Thinking it is their only way out of a troubled life, they choose a very permanent solution. Suicide does not only affect the victims but also has a devastating effect on their family and friends. Suicide is not the answer.  There are other positive ways to relieve mental anguish.

  • American Psychological Association: APA's Help Center is your online resource for brochures, tips and articles on the psychological issues that affect your physical and emotional well-being, as well as information about referrals. Call 800-374-2721.
  • The Jed Foundation: Works nationally to reduce the rate of suicide and the prevalence of emotional distress among college and university students.
  • Mental Health America: Dedicated to helping ALL people live mentally healthier lives. Call 800-989-6624.
  • National Institute of Mental Health: News, overview, clinical trials, research, treatment and organizations on suicide provided by National Institute of Mental Health. Call 800-421-4211.
  • The Trevor Project: A national 24-hour, toll-free, confidential suicide hotline for gay and questioning youth Call 1-866-488-7386.

If you are concerned that you or someone you know may be at risk for suicide, we strongly encourage you to do one or more of the following:

  • Call  the National Suicide Prevention Hotline for a referral at 1-800-273-8255
  • Call La Roche University's security/emergency: 412-536-1111
  • Call 911

For more information on suicide:

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, www.afsp.org.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is also available 24 hrs a day at 1-800-273-TALK.

Statistics

• Suicide is America 's eighth leading cause of death (National Mental Health Association, 2006).

• In 1998, suicide was the third leading cause of death among 15-24 yr olds and second among the college population (NMHA, 1998).

• 95 percent of students who commit suicide were suffering from mental illness, mostly depression (NMHA, 2006).

• College students that suffer from depression and also have problems with substance abuse, anxiety, impulsivity, rage, hopelessness or desperation are at an increased risk for suicide.

Facts and Myths Regarding Suicide

Myth: People who really want to kill themselves do it without warning.
Fact:  There are many risk factors and warning signs for suicide, and suicidal people often leave many clues.

Myth: People who really want to die are determined to kill themselves, so there is no stopping them.
Fact: Most suicidal people are torn between life and death, so intervention can be prevention.

Myth: Once suicidal, always suicidal
Fact: People are only suicidal for a period of time.

Myth: Suicide occurs more often within certain classes of people.
Fact: Suicide is prevalent among all levels of socioeconomic status proportionately.

Suicide Warning Signs  

There are both early and late warning signs for a suicidal person. These signs are usually out of character for the individual, are affecting his/her life negatively, and last for at least 2 weeks.

Early Warning Signs

• Work/school problems
• Talk of death/suicide
• Depressed mood
• Poor hygiene
• Increase in drug and alcohol consumption
• Quitting clubs, activities
• Increased or decreased sleep/change in sleep patterns
• Social isolation
• Inability to find meaning in life
• Loss of interest in previously pleasurable activities
• Hopelessness
• Agitation
• Helplessness

Late Warning Signs

• Preoccupied with his/her failures
• Overreacts to criticism
• Full of anger/rage
• Pessimistic about the present and future
• Preoccupied with death and dying
• Ends significant friendships/relationships
• Takes unnecessary risks
• Can't concentrate
• Buys a firearm or other suspicious material that could be used to kill himself/herself
• Has a plan to kill himself/herself
• Starts to give away belongings
• Unexplainable or unexpected increase in mood
• Begins planning funeral and/or will.

Help! I think my friend wants to commit suicide

It is a very scary experience to have a friend or someone that you love threaten suicide, and sometimes it is difficult to understand why he/she feels that way, and what to do to help. Always take the threat seriously and remember that you do not have to carry the burden alone. Refer them to the counseling center or tell a resident assistant.

If you want to continue to be supportive of your friend while he/she is getting help, here are some tips.

• Listen attentively to everything that he/she has to say.
• Comfort him/her with words of encouragement.
• Let him/her know you are deeply concerned.
• If they are at a high risk of suicide, do not leave him/her alone.
• Talk openly with them.
• Don't be judgmental.
• Be careful of the statements that you make.
• Listen, listen, listen. Be gentle, kind and understanding.
• Let him/her express emotion in the way they want to.
• Try not to act shocked.
• Most of all: Contact the counseling center or other crisis intervention agencies for help.

For more information on suicide, visit: http://www.suicide.org/how-to-help-a-suicidal-person.html

Tell Someone.

If you are considering suicide, find support. If you are afraid to call a hotline or counseling services, then tell a friend or a resident assistant. They can listen to you and support you while seeking professional help.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline : 1-800-273-TALK (24 hrs) www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org

CONTACT Pittsburgh : 412-820-HELP (24 hrs)

Resolve Crisis Network: 1-888-7-YOUCAN (1.888.796.8226)www.upmc.com/resolvecrisis

Visit the La Roche University Counseling Center in Bold Hall Rooms 261 & 259. Schedule an appointment with a counselor by calling 412-847-2506.