Presentation points to signs and responses to suicidal behavior
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Instead of the usual Monday gathering in the Mary Mardel, RSCJ, chapel, students gathered in Syufy Theatre to learn about identifying and responding to signs of suicide.
Tayler Lim, San Francisco Suicide Prevention youth and weekend coordinator, encouraged students to utilize the organization’s 24-hour hotline and reach out to a trusted adult or Student Resources Counselor Annie Egan if they or a loved one experience or say they feel suicidal.
“Adults tend to have easier access to additional resources,” Lim said, “especially if the adult is a counselor — they have training in how to help in situations like this.”
Signs of suicide include sudden change of eating or sleeping habits, violence and isolation. Lim encouraged students to directly inform a trusted adult if they suspect a friend is suicidal, despite the damage it may do to a friendship.
“Losing a friend for a while is better than losing them forever,” said sophomore Darrean Loy. “If you truly love them, you’ll sacrifice that time with them rather than sacrifice everything.”
Suicide carries a stigma similar to that of racism, sexism and homophobia, despite the approximate 45,000 people who die from the act in the U.S. annually, according to Lim.
Methods to eliminate stigma surrounding suicide can include preventing the spread of rumors about people who seem or say they are suicidal and not shaming those who ask for help.
“She told us it was OK to go to a friend and confront them about it,” said freshmen Miley Sherman. “We avoid suicide as a society, and it’s really important to talk about it because a lot of people go through it.”
Confronting somebody about suicide does not plant the idea in the person’s head, it allows her to disclose whether or not she is suicidal, according to Lim.
“It’s a lot of pressure to keep on yourself if you know that someone else is feeling suicidal or if you yourself are feeling suicidal,” said Lim. “It’s a big weight to carry, so we really encourage people to seek help.”