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How Should We Help Prevent Suicide

https://www.goodtherapy.org/learn-about-therapy/issues/suicide

This image embodies the fact that multiple people aren’t getting the help they need which causes them to think suicide is the only choice they have left. 13.3 minutes is terrifying, shocking, and reminds the US that something needs to change fast in order to save lives. Based on research and interviews, in order to help the rates of suicide go down the United States must have effective counseling which can start in Oakland.

Better counseling services here in Oakland that are effective for suicide prevention are needed because people who are hurting need to have someone to connect to and provide them with love and support. If people show suicidal people that they love them and they are here for them, it makes it harder for them to want to commit suicide. They will see that they matter to someone and then they can get help and move forward in their life. It’s hard for people to believe that there’s others who are by their side but if people constantly show and tell them that they are here for them and show them the love they need that can help save someone’s life. A student at ‘Life Academy’ in Oakland thinks someone who is going through suicidal thoughts should get support. Moreno stated that counseling,“make them feel good by making them laugh be their for them and just make sure they don’t feel lonely”(Moreno). Having a counselor that shows them they are loved and supported, can help prevent suicide for those who have rough moments at home. However, these problems can be caused anywhere so it’s good to have a trusted individual so they can receive support and love. Just having someone by one side can help prevent suicide because the person can remember during hard times that it’s worth living sometimes even when one’s path gets hard and it seems like a there’s no other choice but suicide.  A strong counselor would, according to an After School supporter named Kareem Marshall in Oakland, “love on them as much as possible”(Marshall). It doesn’t always have to be a counselor as long as they are able to talk to someone who they trust and makes them feel better. Marshall an after school program coach here in Life Academy has many students go to him for advice and support. They sometimes talk about problems because they can relate to the events he went through in his life even though he isn’t a professional.

However, just any counselor won’t work for everyone, because many schools and communities have counselors, but suicide is still common. Therefore, the best services would be ones where young people relate and see aspects of themselves in their counselors. People should be able to relate to the counselors and be able to trust them in order to feel like they can get the help needed or in general have someone trusted to talk to.

Many people state that everyone should have someone they can talk to and who understands them but many people who have thought about suicide and talked to a counselor have said that it doesn’t help because they can’t connect to the counselor or they don’t trust them. An after school program teacher here at ‘Life Academy’ in Oakland talked about his personal experience with a counselor growing up. Marshall concluded, “if people can’t relate to their counselor then it’s just going to be a waste of time”(Marshall). What this proves is that there’s no point in talking with a counselor even if they are professionals because if the person can’t connect with the counselor, the whole session is going to be the person trying to just leave and not talking at all. This can lead to the student feeling uncomfortable. For example, a Latino student is having a session with a white counselor already they feel insecure because they don’t come from the same backgrounds, experiences, or struggles and the fear of being judged or not understood can make someone stay quiet. In spaces like school students might want to have trusted adults who can connect to us and understand us specially in Oakland where it’s really diverse. ‘DataUSA.io’ talks about the most common race or ethnicity of counselors here in the United States. Data USA described, “70.2% of Counselors are White, making that the most common race or ethnicity in the occupation”(Datausa.io). This data shows that in the United States there are more white counselors than any other race or ethnic group of people. Because most counselors are white, students in diverse schools like Life Academy in Oakland won’t be able to relate or feel like they are being heard with counselors who don’t understand the struggles they face.

Counseling with the right person is effective, but stigma around suicide still needs to decrease so peers and adults do not see it as a joke. Moreno shares that, “most people take it as a joke and they think that they aren’t being serious” (Moreno). People should be allowed to express what they feel and not keep everything encapsulated. If people are afraid of helping someone or feel like they can’t do anything because the stigma is causing them to want to create a barrier between people. This is true because people who aren’t understanding will think they are just “sad and going through nothing” which will cause the rates of deaths from suicide to keep increasing instead or decreasing. This is why we should try and help people who are dealing with suicidal thoughts and show them that we love and support them instead of pushing them away and eliminating them out of our lives because we don’t want to “deal with depressed people” or they just going through “an emo phase” because it’s not a joke and nobody should need to feel like their life doesn’t matter.

In conclusion, many people have different ways to try and cope with what they are going through for example drinking, smoking, reading, drawing, talking, ect. There is multiple ways that people cope with how they are feeling but some ways make someone feel worse because they hurt them physically, but counseling is truly the most effective when done properly. This will help people slowly get better and start to understand that they do have people who they can trust and have people who actually will be here when they need them. People should have someone they can relate to and understands them in order to feel loved and supported and get help to move on forward with their lives.

“You have the power to say this is not how my story will end” if you are dealing with depression remember you matter to someone and you deserve to feel loved. Call the SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE AT 1-800-273-8255.

 

Work Cited:

Bureau Census. “Data USA.” Data USA, 2017, datausa.io/.

This source has a variety of ways to show data on different topics. They have written descriptions and also use evidence like percentages and graphs to show the data they are explaining. They should be a trusted source because they are able to show what degree the writers each got and what universities they attended too.

Marshall , Kareem. “Suicide Interview .” 12 Dec. 2018.

In this interview I questioned Kareem about what he thinks we can do to help people who are going through suicidal thoughts. He is an afterschool program teacher and multiple students at school go to him for help and advice because he listens to people and has gone through similar experiences. He can relate to students and he is seen as a counselor to many students even if that isn’t really his job here at our school.

 

Moreno, Bryan. “Suicide Interview.” 12 Dec. 2018.

I chose to interview Bryan because he is a student here at Life Academy in Oakland. Bryan has dealt with suicidal thought and has had counselors so he has experience. Also, he has friends who dealt with depression and have had counselors so he understands some of the struggles people have to dealt with.

“GoodTherapy.org.” GoodTherapy.org – Find the Right Therapist, GoodTherapy.org Therapy Blog, 10 Sept. 2018, www.goodtherapy.org/learn-about-therapy/issues/suicide.

Good Therapy is a source brought awareness to how we should help prevent suicide. The source states different ideas or ways to help someone and also it recently was updated so the statistics are more accurate. It’s a suicide prevention website meaning that the information they give us is credible since they are trying to help people.

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CC BY-SA 4.0 How Should We Help Prevent Suicide by Wendy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

6 Comments
  1. Michaela 1 month ago

    Hi Wendy,
    I really enjoyed your post. It brought a lot of information to the table and reminded me that people must work on this issue. Many schools currently have one to no counselors at their sites which could be detrimental to their development. I believe that suicide must be discussed more. It is a taboo topic, yet society loses people constantly due to this action. I completely agree with you that we should be working harder to prevent suicide.

  2. Michelle 1 month ago

    Hi Wendy,
    Suicide and suicide ideation are an important topic and I think you did a great job covering different aspects of it. We humans are naturally group-oriented, we want to feel connected and have a sense of belonging. It is easy to feel alone like you are on your own isolated island. It is important to surround yourself with supportive people who lift you up, but as you mentioned sometimes friends and family do not understand the extent of one’s suffering and may not take it seriously or brush them off.
    I especially like the point you made about the lack of diversity in counselors and how this impacts the counselor-client relationship. It is crucial that counselors are trained to work in diverse populations to better understand their backgrounds, experiences, and struggles as you said. More representation is needed in counselors because it makes a difference when an adolescent can see themselves in that person, and that could deepen the connection and comfortability established. Suicide and suicidal ideation are serious issues and I agree with you that more preventative measures should be taken for adolescents to feel included, supported, and loved.

  3. Adam Corn 3 months ago

    Hi Wendy,

    Good job with your topic selection and research. This is an important issue that students around the country are facing. Your sentence, “There is multiple ways that people cope with how they are feeling but some ways make someone feel worse because they hurt them physically, but counseling is truly the most effective when done properly.” is a great summary of what individuals need when they are facing suicidal thoughts.

    I would encourage you to look at two things. First, investigate why the suicide attempt rate is as high as it is. What is causing people to become depressed and begin thinking suicidal thoughts. There is a lot of research on this topic, and it may help you look for solutions in Oakland.

    Second, I suggest looking at your comments about the current counselors available in your school. Why are there not more counselors of color available. And, why can’t students relate to white counselors. Are there issues beyond race that may cause the distrust or discomfort?

    This is a difficult topic, but I am excited to know that students are thinking about this issue, and I look forward to solutions you or your peers think of to help decrease suicide rates.

    Adam

    • Author
      Wendy 3 months ago

      Dear Adam Corn,

      Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to read my blog and leave a comment on my work. I think your suggestions were really interesting and I will look forward to asking some of the counselors their opinions. I think it’s somewhat confusing how we don't have as many counselors of color here in our school knowing that we have 100% of students of color here. I think that is a really interesting idea and I didn’t really think about it as I wrote my blog. I think it was also interesting that you brought up, I should research what causes people to become depressed. I think in my opinion there's multiple reasons but that is a cool and interesting idea and I am looking forward to research more about that question. I was wondering if at UC Riverside the students have access to counselors they can relate to and feel like actually help out? I also happen to notice that you never agreed or disagreed with my argument on better counseling services being more effective so I wanted to know if you think that would make a bigger impact than having some other resource to help people with depression or suicidal thoughts? Thanks again for your time. 
      

      -Wendy Perez Govea

  4. Judith 4 months ago

    Dear Wendy,
    Your blog is super important and necessary for everyone to read. I like how you emphasized the need to end stigma around depression and suicide but also the pros and cons of counseling. Maybe you could have included some alternatives to counseling. Also, you mentioned that a student of color won’t be able to connect with a white counselor. So, what do they need to actually be able to connect?
    Overall, I really liked your blog and I think all the emo kids at Life should read it.
    Good job!

  5. Kelly 5 months ago

    Dear Wendy,

    I agree with you on that people who deal with suicidal thoughts should have a counselor or someone someone to talk to that they can relate to. I agree because like you said if they can’t relate then the person won’t feel safe or comfortable. Also, the person they are talking to should not judge because then that will make the person having suicidal thoughts be embarrassed or feel that what they are going through is a joke. I also want to add that you should have added how the person with suicidal thoughts feels when they are understood versus when they are being laughed at or misunderstood.
    
                            Sincerely, Kelly
    

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