There is hope!
By Andrea Marcolla, Instructor/Counseling ,
September 10, 2020 is World Suicide Prevention Day. More than 54% of Americans have been impacted by suicide in some way and suicide is the second leading cause of death for young people in the United States. Although the statistics are daunting, there is hope. Hope radiates through the conversations we continue to have about improving mental health and human suffering. Hope glimmers in the eyes of the 250 suicide prevention gatekeepers (Northampton Community College students, staff and faculty) who have been trained at NCC since 2018. Hope can be found in the idea that NCC is featuring this blog submission, as suicide continues to be highly stigmatized and ignored within society.
Talking about suicide has historically been viewed as taboo or solely the work of mental health professionals. However, evidence has shown attitudes are shifting and that one does not need to be an expert to prevent suicide. Awareness of risk factors, warning signs and prevention resources are key elements to supporting someone who may be experiencing suicidality. More important than this knowledge is one’s ability to be compassionate, empathetic and vulnerable.
Connection has proven to be the most effective tool in preventing suicide. Check in on one another, especially when something doesn’t feel right or you notice a sudden change in one’s mood, behavior and/or life circumstances. Listen without judgment and let the person know you care. Remind the person that help is available and he/she/they are not alone.
Lastly, practice this same level of care with yourself. Find time throughout your day and week to connect with yourself and pay attention without judgment to the feelings that arise. Take your own temperature so to speak and respond to your needs. Practice healthy coping skills such as taking a walk, journaling, exercising, meditating, listening to music and when necessary reach out to others for support.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, please contact: 1-800-273-8255 or text TALK to 741741.
Additional resources can be found here.
All credit-enrolled students have access to Counseling Services at NCC. More information can be found on our website.
If you are interested in hosting a suicide prevention gatekeeper training and/or learning more, please contact Andrea Marcolla via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrea Marcolla is a certified Suicide Prevention Instructor, Licensed Social Worker and Yoga Instructor