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Suicide Prevention Awareness Month: What to Look for and How to Help


By Stephanie Booth

Contributor


September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, an opportunity to spread love and hope while providing essential information to those affected by poor mental health.


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the second leading cause of death among young adults. It is estimated that for every youth suicide, one hundred to two hundred others attempt suicide.


Many people experience significant stress during their adolescence as a result of life transitions such as gaining more independence and responsibility when leaving home and beginning college or a career. The COVID-19 pandemic has added to the stress though there have been glimmers of resilience: the ability to recover from a negative experience or difficult challenge.


Young adults, however, are not the only group who is at risk. Like mental health disorders, suicidal thoughts can strike anyone, regardless of age, gender, or background. In reality, untreated mental health conditions frequently lead to suicide as can substance abuse disorders, loss of a job or relationship, a lack of social support, and exposure to suicides.


While widespread, suicidal thoughts should not be taken as normal because they frequently point to more serious problems. The 989 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline identifies talking about wanting to commit suicide as a warning sign along with expressing feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness, reckless behavior, and severe mood swings.


According to the Lifeline, those who are at-risk can help themselves by practicing self-care, building a support network, and seeking professional help.


For the GTCC community, help is available via the Counseling Center. The center provides free, confidential counseling services to all current and prospective students. All counselors are master's level and/or licensed staff who work with students individually and in groups to facilitate healthy emotional, psychological, and academic development. The Counseling Center currently provides both face-to-face and telehealth services.


Please don't hesitate to schedule an appointment for services. If you are interested, you may email the counseling center at counselingcenter@gtcc.edu. You may also call the Jamestown office at 336-334-4822, ext. 50038 or our Greensboro office at 336-334-4822, ext. 53021. The Center returns voicemail as soon as possible.


If you need help after hours, call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org to reach the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.





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