Suicide should never become solution to problems

Mike Ezekiel

Life deals a harsh hand sometimes, and there isn’t a single person on earth who is the exception to the rule.

Some individuals struggle with depression, a commonly overlooked problem in our society, while others have life-changing events that cause heartbreak.

Fourty-four percent of college students in the U.S. reported having symptoms of depression, and 75 percent of college students do not seek help for mental health problems, according to healthline.com.

There are many ways to solve these problems, but suicide is not one of them.

September is the official month for Suicide Awareness, according to the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill. Furthermore, Sept. 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day.

Although this month and day have passed, it is paramount to continue remembering daily how important it is to help prevent suicide.

I would be lying if I said suicide never crossed my mind. To this day, it’s hard to open up about some of the things I went through before college, but I always realized someone had it a lot worse than I did.

Something I take solace in when heartbreak occurs is a passage from I Corinthians 10:13. It says, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”

As a Christian, I always had to realize how much Jesus had to endure. He went through humiliation, being spat on, nailed through and so on. Even in my life, others around me dealt with worse things than I.

Those people need me. And also, I need those people.

Last month, The Flor-Ala released two articles involving students, faculty and staff working to raise awareness of suicide.

Active Minds, a registered student organization, started a campaign to help students realize that mental health requires attention and does exist. Active Minds encourages people to reach out to peers contemplating suicide.

UNA Athletics also made it their aim to go beyond the field and help fellow students, faculty and staff realize they “are more than just a like” on social media with the Connect 1 campaign.

Sometimes, it seems we forget that suicide occurs until it directly affects us. Then, we are deeply sorrowed that we may not have done enough to encourage someone when the stars didn’t quite align.

I know I’ve had the feeling of not doing enough before, as many others have had. Hindsight never fixes the past, but it does help the future.

It encourages me to know organizations on our campus and around the globe, such as NAMI and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, put so much work into helping save as many lives as possible.

But organizations can only do so much.

As individuals, the ones who know our best friends and peers better than any group can, we should let those around us know our door is always open.

Heart-to-heart conversations are the best way to let someone know you care about their well-being and that they are valued. Also, a simple conversation with a stranger can go a long way in letting someone know they are loved.

For those experiencing suicidal thoughts, please contact Student Counseling Services at 256-765-5215 and visit them at 555 Oakview Circle. They are willing to help immediately if the situation requires it.

But more importantly, think about the people who care. How will they be affected knowing they can never see or talk to the person they love again? That’s heartbreak that will last forever.