Every 15 minutes, somewhere in the United States another life will be lost to suicide – the third leading cause of death among 15 to 24-year-olds. But many Americans remain unaware that suicide is a national health problem that claims more than 36,000 lives each year.
NSU students hoped to help change this by joining more than 750 walkers who recently participated in the school’s third annual “Out of the Darkness” Walk to Prevent Suicide. The walk was held Nov. 20, and benefited the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) in its mission to prevent suicide and assist those affected by suicide.
This year, more than $17, 375 has been raised by the walk so far, with more donations tallying until Dec. 31. Already, over the past three years, NSU’s Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority has raised more than $40,000 to date to help promote suicide prevention and awareness.
The walk showed support for the surviving families and friends of Americans who die by suicide, and the 20 million people who suffer from depression each year.
It also helped raise funds for suicide prevention research and educational programs, erase the stigma surrounding suicide and its causes, and encourage those who are suffering from mental illness to seek treatment. “Out of the Darkness” Community Walks are taking place in more than 200 communities across the country this fall.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is the leading national not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to understanding and preventing suicide through research, education and advocacy, and to reaching out to people with mental disorders and those impacted by suicide.
For more information, or to make donations for the “Out of the Darkness” Community Walk at NSU, visit www.outofthedarkness.org or call 954-262-7482.
Warning Signs of Suicide (from ReportingOnSuicide.org)
- Talking about wanting to die
- Looking for a way to kill oneself
- Talking about feeling hopeless or having no purpose
- Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
- Talking about being a burden to others
- Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
- Acting anxious, agitated or recklessly
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Withdrawing or feeling isolated
- Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
- Displaying extreme mood swings
The more of these signs a person shows, the greater the risk. Warning signs are associated with suicide, but may not be what causes a suicide.
What To Do (from ReportingOnSuicide.org):
If someone you know exhibits warning signs of suicide:
- Do not leave the person alone
- Remove any firearms, alcohol, drugs or sharp objects that could be used in a suicide attempt
- Call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255)
- Take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional
THE NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE 800-273-TALK (8255) is a free, 24/7 service that can provide suicidal persons or those around them with support, information and local resources.