September is National Suicide Prevention month.
Craven Community College is raising awareness by hosting a suicide prevention lunch to try and tackle myths and realities that come with it.
“One of the biggest myths is that if somebody really wants to do it they’re going to do it anyway. A little intervention goes a long way to make something mildly inconvenient can actually save a life,” said Ramona Smerz, a suicide intervention coordinator.
In the United States, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death.
Students and members of the community talked about warning signs, and general ways they can help friends and family who might be thinking about taking their own life.
Some of the warning signs Smerz discussed are someone feeling hopeless, they have no sense of purpose, anxiety, and social isolation among other things.
“People have different needs, different stresses, and we don’t want them to be in a position where they feel like they have nowhere to go. We want them to know that we’re here and know that the tools are available to them,” said Craig Ramey, Craven Community College.
Some in attendance also shared personal stories of how suicide has affected them, stressing that it’s a public health issue and should be everyone’s business.
“Historically, there has been a stigma associated with mental health, but I think we have evolved in that, and we’re improving that as far as bring attention to mental health,” said Smerz.
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, you can call the National Suicide Prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255.