National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month was created with the goal of educating the public on how to identify those who are struggling, how to talk about suicide without increasing the risk of harm, and how to provide information on available community resources.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, suicide is the 10th-leading cause of death among adults in the United States and the second-leading cause of death among people ages 10-24. These numbers are increasing.
Having thoughts of harming oneself does not mean that someone is weak, but it does mean that someone is struggling with depression or significant life stressors. These are exacerbated when one is drinking or using drugs. For more information on causes, signs and interventions, review one or more of the following:
- Listen to the Work/Life Connections-EAP wellcast “Suicide Prevention: Risks, Detection and Intervention” with psychiatrist Steve Nicolson.
- Complete the Kognito training “At Risk: Identifying and Referring Students in Mental Distress,” which helps faculty and staff learn to recognize signs of psychological distress in young people but also can be helpful to all. The Kognito training is one of the 2016 Go For the Gold Wellness Action Log options.
- Learn more about the warning signs and risk factors from the Suicide Prevention Resource Center.
- Visit the MAPS website. MAPS is a Vanderbilt University joint initiative with the Psychological and Counseling Center and the Center for Student Wellbeing designed to prevent suicide in the campus community while promoting mental health awareness.
Resource for Vanderbilt faculty and staff:
- Work/Life Connections-EAP: (615) 936-1327
Resources for Vanderbilt students:
- The Psychological and Counseling Center: (615) 322-2571
- The Center for Student Wellbeing: (615) 322-0480
Resources for the community:
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-272-8255
- United Way of Middle Tennessee Crisis Help Line: dial 211 or (615) 244-7444