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How to be there for loved ones during Suicide Prevention Month

  SAN ANTONIO –Sept. 4, 2022, marks the beginning of Suicide Prevention Month in the United States of America. According to the Pan American Health Organization, this month’s goal is to provide resources and tips on how to help those who are mentally struggling under the theme, ‘creating hope through action.’ For every death, there are 15-25 times as many suicidal attempts. Many attempts are caused by stress, self-doubt, pressure to succeed, financial uncertainty, disappointment and loss that have led to depression, anxiety and more.  According to a recent study on Depression and Anxiety published on verywellmind.com, one in five college students think about suicide. In a study of more than 67,000 college students from various levels of higher education, researchers found that 9% attempted suicide and nearly 20% reported self-injury.   It may be challenging to determine if someone is at risk of harming themselves; however, creating hope through action is an approach to bringing people together and giving hope to those with mental health issues.     If one finds themselves in a situation where a family member or friend comes to them for help, here are a few tips taken from the We are Rethink Mental Illness website:  
  • Empathize with them and say, “I don’t understand what you are going through and how painful it must be, but I would like to understand.”
  • Show no judgment and explain how they are not at fault for feeling a certain way.
  • Remind them how important their life is to those who care about them.
  • Encourage them to seek help.
  If an Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) student is in need of help or has concerns about a school friend, the campus offers a variety of counseling resources. The OLLU Counseling Services has services available to all students such as counseling, consultation, crisis and many more. Consultations can be scheduled by calling 210-431-4053 or visiting Walter Student Service Center, Suite 206. Sessions last 45-50 minutes and are free for current OLLU students residing in the state of Texas.   Consultations are short meetings that are geared toward the problem-solving of a concern. They are not counseling sessions, but if a student has concerns for their classmate or friend, a consultation can help and will be kept confidential.    The OLLU Counseling Services page at ollusa.edu lists emergency numbers to contact, such as OLLU University Police at 210-433-0911.   One can also reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text ‘home’ to 741741.  
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