Written by: Katie Knight
Editor’s note: The following article is written in partnership with Counseling Services and the Southern Accent.
According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, there were an estimated 1.2 million suicide attempts in 2020, and this number has been rising through the years. Additionally, in 2020 an estimated 45,979 Americans died by suicide.
With suicide being the second-leading cause of death for teens and young adults ages 10 to 34, Southern Adventist University’s campus should not ignore these statistics. According to the CDC, an estimated 25.5% of adults ages 18 to 24 reported to have seriously considered suicide within a single month in 2020.
Given these statistics, it is imperative that suicide awareness and prevention efforts be made with all populations, but especially among college students. The Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network (TSPN) is doing just this, as they are a statewide organization that works tirelessly to provide education and events with the goal of exposing as many individuals as possible to the facts and numbers of suicide and to debunk the myths associated with suicide.
They offer free training specialized for businesses, schools and organizations alike to detect warnings and risk factors of suicide. One such training is their “Question, Persuade, and Refer” (QPR) training which provides innovative, practical and proven suicide prevention training. Through education, they believe that people can have a positive impact on the life of someone they know and reduce the risk of suicide.
Southern’s chapter of Psi Chi believes that with mental health concerns on the rise and the loaded stresses of everyday life, suicide prevention training is of the utmost importance. Students, staff and faculty can all benefit from and utilize this valuable information to create a safer and more supportive environment on campus. We believe that it’s time to break the stigma associated with suicide and remove the shame that has been placed around the topic. Suicide is a complex topic, but it is not something to shy away from. It needs to be addressed to provide support and resources for those who need it.
Given the statistics above, you likely know someone who has considered suicide or know someone who has made an attempt. If you find yourself in a situation where a peer, student or friend confides in you about suicide, it can be challenging and scary to know how to navigate that situation.
Therefore, Psi Chi will be hosting the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network to provide students, staff and faculty with their QPR training. This training is designed to raise awareness of suicide; understand prevention, intervention and postvention; and learn suicide risk assessments. These trainings are built on the premise that everyone needs suicide prevention training. Resources will be provided through TSPN with handouts and more information on how to get a suicide prevention certification.
This event will occur on Sunday, Feb. 26, at 5 p.m. in The Grid in the Bietz Center for Student Life. Training will take up to 90 minutes, and convocation credit will be provided for students who attend. To all those who are interested and available, please come and support this event!