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Wellness > Mental Health

Let’s Have an Honest Talk About Suicide

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at USF chapter.


September is Suicide Prevention Month and I feel that even though this is something difficult to talk about, it must be openly addressed.

Fortunately, discussing mental health has become more normalized as time has passed. Previously, mental health was a fairly private topic, so at times it’s still hard to navigate the issue and be upfront about it. There’s still a stigma around mental health disorders and often, people keep things to themselves due to that.

There are many factors that contribute to suicide or feeling suicidal: loneliness, trauma, discrimination, hopelessness– to name a few.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, it states that in 2019 alone suicide took the life of 47,500
people and was the tenth leading cause of death in the United States alone.

There is a difference made between being suicidal and suicide that isn’t recognized enough. In this world, when someone is suicidal, everyone just thinks that they won’t do it, that it’s just for attention, or completely dismisses the person and their feelings.

However, when someone actually does commit suicide, everyone is heartbroken and wishes they knew the
person was going through something, even when the signs were clearly there. It is so important to take someone seriously if they open up to you about being suicidal because it could save someone’s life.

For me, my mental health was something I used to be so ashamed of. It was uncomfortable for me to talk about and I just wanted everyone to think that everything was always perfect. I thought that if people knew that I was struggling, that they would look at me differently.

In reality, that mindset is not at all realistic.

Everyone is going through something, whether or not it seems like it. We post our best updates and pictures on social media for everyone to see, but never our bad moments. You might look at others and think that they’re always happy and that they have the best life ever, but that’s not always the truth. 

Mental health is just as important as your own physical health, therefore it’s vital to treat it as such. The same care you would receive for a physical wound matters just as much as care for a mental one. It’s okay to talk about how you’re feeling with others.

Opening up allows you to better understand your emotions and try to work through them. You do not have to work through stuff on your own, there is always someone that you can turn to for help.

It’s important to be there for people, just as you would want them to be there for you. In this world, the best thing you can do is be empathetic and care for others around you.

When you notice someone struggling with their mental health, there are many things that you can do to be there for them.

Remind people how much you love and support them. Hearing this can sometimes be enough just to push people to keep going.

Don’t just hear someone, listen. Before jumping right into solutions, it matters to understand what they are trying to tell you. Not only should you do that, but also recognize signs that this person may need help.

Be there for someone, and if you think it’s out of your control, contact someone immediately for extra help. 

When listening and communicating, it must be without out-of-line judgment. Remember that everyone’s feelings are valid, and no one should feel ashamed for how they feel. Recognizing these small things when discussing mental health with others, creates a special kind of courage to keep people going. 

September is National Suicide Prevention Month, but it remains an issue in the eleven months that follow. Take care of yourself, as you would somebody you love.

Remember that you are so loved and needed in this world, whether or not your mind tries to convince you otherwise. And if no one has told you this today, I’m proud of you and how far you’ve come. 

If you or someone you love is experiencing suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at (800)-273-8255.

Hi everyone! My name is Alexis McDonald, my pronouns are she/her/hers, and I'm currently double majoring in English and Political Science at USF. I'm also the Social Media Director for our chapter! I love reading, thrifting, and tea drinking! I enjoy writing about mental health, activism, and astrology! I have enjoyed writing since I was young and have grown to have a passion for it ever since.