In a culture where 13 Reasons Why is glorified and mental illness is not always understood, it is difficult to grasp the seriousness of the causes and effects of depression. When we reflect on the way our society treats suicide, it’s easy to feel resentful. People who aren’t knowledgeable of depression often tell people with mental illness to “change their mindset” or to “stay positive”. It isn’t wrong to encourage someone who’s going through a hard time, but when someone is battling something as serious as suicidal thoughts, it’s not the best way to help them. Everyone feels sad and lonely sometimes. However, we must be aware of when those feelings become abnormal and harmful to ourselves or our loved ones.
If you or someone you know is struggling with depression and/or thoughts of suicide, it is important to recognize that you are not alone in your feelings. According to the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (sprc.org), suicide is a leading cause of death among college and university students in the United States. It’s no secret that a college student is under a significant amount of stress during the school year.
However, we need to be mindful that some students may have a much harder time coping with the overwhelming mental stress that comes with being in school. Feelings of hopelessness and loneliness can stem from the seemingly unbearable stress. But sometimes we feel hopeless and lonely for no particular reason, and that’s where things can get worrisome. No one wakes up one day and just feels suicidal. It’s a gradual and painful trek through overwhelming feelings of depression.
The good news is: there is hope! Biola University has many resources that can help students cope with their mental and emotional needs:
- Confidential Emergency Hotline call 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
- If you are struggling with depression, but are not sure about therapy or counseling, talk to your dorm’s RD. Or if you’re a commuter, a staff or faculty person that you trust would be beneficial. They care about you and want to see you thrive while you’re in school. Another on-campus resource is the Biola Counseling Center, where students can go get professional therapy for any reason surrounding their mental health.
- The Biola Counseling Center (BCC) Drop In Hours, located in the Student Services building, across from the Gym: Mon.&Wed. 12p-2p, Tues. & Thurs. 1p-3p.
This week is National Suicide Prevention Week, and I encourage you to educate yourself about the dangers of having a lack of mental health and emotional support. Biola University is meant to be a safe place where we can come together as a community and support one another through the hardest of times. For more information on suicide prevention, go to https://www.jedfoundation.org/