September is National Suicide Prevention Month, during which awareness and prevention education comes to the forefront.
Entering our second week of September, closing in on fall, it’s time to pause and reflect on our mental health.
Non-profits, such as To Write Love on Her Arms, are working to raise awareness and encouraging young people to seek help and speak out with their 2017 prevention campaign called “Stay.”
The TWLOHA website says that “Stay” drives its mission, especially on World Suicide Prevention Day, which falls on Sept. 10. The site states, “if this finds you struggling or feeling alone, our hope is that you will choose to stay. Our hope is that you get the help you need and deserve. Because your life is sacred and you were made for more than just this moment.”
The non-profit also states that one person dies from suicide, globally, every 40 seconds with one suicide every 13.7 minutes in the United States alone. As horrifying as these numbers are, there are steps you can take as a student to bring these numbers down.
Symptoms of depression, anxiety and other illnesses vary from person-to-person according to Everyday Health, so it can be difficult to realize when you need help. Because of this, I urge you to take some time this month to take a free mental health screening.
Mental Health America offers free, quick, easy and confidential screening tests on its website. Bear in mind that MHA is not professionally certified to provide a diagnosis, but it is the first step you can take toward becoming more aware. MHA offers tests for depression, anxiety, bipolar, psychosis, PTSD and eating disorders.
For information and screening tools for eating disorders, the National Eating Disorder Association offers in-depth options for determining whether you need help, but again, they are not certified to make a professional diagnosis.
For professional help, Kennesaw State’s counseling center accepts walk-in appointments for individuals, couples and groups. It’s website also contains resources for those in crisis and links to educational mental health websites.
Even if you do not believe you need to be screened, you should do it for yourself, your peers and your loved ones. Learning the warning signs of mental health conditions will help you gain answers for yourself and make it easier to begin talking about it. Getting screened can’t hurt, it can only help to save the lives and minds of those who feel lost.
If you or a loved one is struggling with depression, suicidal thoughts, or are in crisis, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text the Crisis Text Line at 741741.