Suicide, an unfortunate reality

Suicide isn’t a subject that is new to UVSC, nor to Utah, which ranks above the national average in suicides and, according to a study by Mental Health America released late Nov., the highest in depression rates.

Unfortunately, this harsh reality has affected many students and students’ families in the not-too-distant past.

In the 2006-2007 school year, there have been reports of three UVSC students successfully completing suicide.

In response, UVSC has provided a means for individuals who might be suffering from an affliction such as suicidal thoughts or depression or both, through the Student Health Services on campus.

In attempt to provide a safe harbor for students, the Student Health Service Center is using a method of helping people with these types of problems.

This program is called "QPR" (Question, Persuade, Refer). This program is mainly used to help people to understand how to pick up on warning signs that one may demonstrate before actually following through with a suicide attempt.

Warning signs may include the following:
Rage, uncontrolled anger, seeking revenge
Increased alcohol or drug use
Withdrawing from friends, family and society
Anxiety, agitation, unable to sleep or sleeping all the time
Dramatic mood changes
Expressing no reason for living, no sense of purpose in life

Myths about suicide:
People who talk about suicide usually don’t go through with it. False.

Thinking about suicide is rare. False.

Suicidal people are fully intent on dying. False.

Most suicidal people are undecided about living or dying. This is called "suicidal ambivalence," which is when a part of the person wants to live, but death seems like the only way out of his or her pain and suffering. The person will sometimes gamble with death, leaving it up to others to save them.

Everyone who dies by suicide is depressed. False.

You can’t stop someone who really wants to die by suicide. False.

Talking to someone about suicide will put the idea into his or her head. False.

Fortunately, UVSC has two professionals trained in the QPR program that are willing to put on presentations for small groups that may include a classroom setting, or even group as small as four or five people.

"My goal in the next couple of years is to educate and to train as many people on our campus in how to prevent suicide and recognize the signs and symptoms, whether it be within themselves, an acquaintance, or someone they know and love," said J.C. Graham from Student Health Services, regarding suicide awareness and prevention. "QPR is based off the concept of CPR, the more people learn CPR, the more lives are saved as a prevention model; and QPR is based off of that same concept."

These classes are for those who may have a friend they are worried about or someone who would like to be more informed.

Information about getting involved with this program may be found at the Student Health Service Center located in sc221 or by contacting J.C. Graham at (801) 863-6073.

If you or anyone you know is showing the warning signs of suicide, there are multiple outlets for help: Utah County Hotline (801) 226-4433, National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, (800) 273-TALK (8255), or UVSC’s Student Heath Services (801) 863-8397 or (801) 863-8876.

*Information provided by the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.

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