By Billy Jeffers ‘19
Suicide is a traumatic and terrible action that takes place in the world all too frequently. About one million people commit suicide each year, which is about one death every 40 seconds.
In society, we tend to stray away from ¨suicide awareness¨ even though it is a huge issue that should be talked about. Many people are affected by suicide each year, whether it is a brother, sister, aunt, uncle, parent, or friend. Committing suicide is an unchangeable mistake which should never be done. If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, seek assistance immediately.
If one is having suicidal thoughts, who should he talk to? Student Counselor Mr. Creed said, “If any person is having suicidal thoughts, he should immediately seek assistance from a trusted source – parent, teacher, counselor, older relative. If a trusted source is not available, one should call 9-1-1 immediately. A close friend is a good person to have on your team, but he should NOT be the only person you speak to. Teenagers tend to think that they can’t tell anyone what their friends say, otherwise they won’t be friends anymore. So, even if someone who is expressing suicidal ideation tells a friend, that friend may not do the right thing with that information.¨
It was on Wednesday Oct. 24 when a young man from Marist High School committed suicide. Mike McGrath was a student, a son, a friend, an athlete and a brother who might have been saved if he had talked to a trusted adult. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for ages 10-24. More teenagers and young adults die from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, influenza, and chronic lung disease, combined.
It is very important that you tell someone, if you know a person is having suicidal thoughts. Mr. Creed said, ¨If you have a friend who is having suicidal thoughts, you should IMMEDIATELY tell an adult. Do not think, ‘I’m betraying their trust.’ You’re not. You’re betraying them by not saying something. It’s much better to have a friend that is mad at you because you didn’t keep a secret than it is to have a friend that has attempted suicide.”
Counselors have to go through a cautious procedure if they know a student is suicidal. Mr. Creed said, ¨Our role as counselors is to immediately assess the situation and find out what is causing these thoughts. Because we are school counselors, we cannot begin intensive psychological treatment for students at that time. If a counselor deems that a student is an immediate threat to himself or others, the students’ parents are called. This is done because we are mandated reporters by law to inform families of any health risks, such as suicidal ideation. No matter how bad things seem, there will always be someone who cares and who will listen. The Brother Rice Counseling Staff (and the rest of our amazing faculty) will always be here to listen through the most difficult times.”
We need to take a stand on suicide. If you are having bad thoughts, just remember that there are people who love you and care for you. Taking your own life is never the answer. If you need someone to talk to, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255