Stempel College walks to reduce suicide
Members of Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work joined dozens of concerned FIU Panthers for the Out of the Darkness FIU Campus Walk, a walk and donation drive supporting the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSF) on Saturday, May 19, 2018.
Stempel College was FIU’s highest contributor to the AFSF this year with a total of $1,800 in donations.
The cause is timelier than ever now, and the AFSF’s plea to help save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide has reached a crescendo. The recent suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain last week serve as an intense call for the nation to address mental health as a public health crisis.
According to a report released on June 8, 2018 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide rates in the U.S. have risen nearly 30 percent since 1999. Suicide was the cause of death for nearly 45,000 Americans (10 years or older) in 2016. It is now the 10th leading cause of death among all age groups and the leading cause of death, after accidents, for people ages 10 to 34.
“Recent events have brought suicide out of the darkness. By giving, helping or conducting research, each one of us can help reduce the magnitude of suicide as a public health problem,” said Dr. Mark Macgowan, associate dean of academic affairs and professor in the School of Social Work at Stempel College.
More awareness and access to prevention methods are needed to bring this public health crisis “out of the darkness.”
What can you do to help?
- Add the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) to your phone contacts in case of an emergency. The hotline is staffed 24/7 and confidential support services are available for people in distress. (En Español: 1-888-628-9454; Deaf and Hard of Hearing: 1-800-799-4889)
- Contact the Crisis Text Line by texting 741741
- #BeThe1To / BeThe1to.com recommends five action steps to help people at risk:
- 1. Ask—Are you thinking of suicide? (if there is an immediate risk of suicide, call 911)
- 2. Keep them safe (reduce access to lethal means)
- 3. Be there
- 4. Help them connect
- 5. Follow up
- Donate to AFSF to support advocacy, practice and research into suicide prevention.
- This resource from the CDC outlines effective approaches to address the risk factors for suicide: “Preventing Suicide: A Technical Package of Policy, Programs, and Practices.”
- Timely and affordable access to mental health care and counseling is essential in reducing suicides. The Suicide Prevention Resource Center offers guides on effective suicide prevention resources.