Suicide Prevention Day took place Saturday, Sept. 10 as a part of Suicide Prevention Month. More than 700,000 people globally die from suicide each year, and many of them are teenagers and young adults, according to the World Health Organization.
By reaching out and offering resources and support, students can help one another during difficult times. The Editorial Board urges students to remain aware of the signs of suicidal tendencies in others and take time to check in on friends and family.
Initial signs of suicidal thoughts and tendencies include giving away possessions, self-isolation and withdrawal, increased moodiness and sleeping too much or too little, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Although prevention programs aid suicidal patients, family and friends should take the first step in identifying suicidal tendencies and offering support when possible.
“Being able to get people to understand that there are places for them to go, people to talk to buys time for the ability to come up with some solutions that you may not be able to see or think of in the moment,” said Robert Fauber, a psychology and neuroscience professor.
As of July 16, 2022, the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, formerly The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, can be reached by calling 988 instead of 1-800-273-8255. The switch was intended to make help more accessible.
However, the older line will always remain in use after the launch of the three-digit lifeline. By texting or calling the 988 lifeline, anyone can connect with a trained counselor in times of crisis. However, at a counselors’ discretion, police may be sent when callers are suspected to be in imminent danger.
To avoid possible interactions with police, people can reach out to four 24/7 crisis response centers in Philadelphia, included one located at Temple University Hospital – Episcopal Campus at B Street near Lehigh Avenue. Individuals can call 215-707-2577 to reach the crisis response center.
LGBTQ+ students in crisis can call the TrevorLifeline at 1-866-488-7386 at any time, while students struggling with the impacts of racism and xenophobia can call the Racial Equity Support Line at 503-575-3764.
The Philadelphia Domestic Violence Hotline is (866) 723-3014 and accepts calls 24/7. If students need someone to discuss general mental health concerns and aren’t experiencing a crisis, they can call the National Alliance on Mental Illness Philadelphia Warmline at (267) 687-4381 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.
Philadelphia is also home to a suicide prevention call center, The Network of Care of Behavioral Health, which is a part of the 988 Lifeline network. The center can connect patients with resources in the city, ranging from HIV/AIDS support and substance abuse services to suicide prevention.
The Editorial Board urges students to support others that are struggling with suicidal tendencies because looking out for one other can create a more comfortable atmosphere for discussing mental health and sharing helpful resources, like the ones above.