Let’s Talk – World Suicide Prevention

The month of September marks World Suicide Prevention month, but mental health isn’t just a topic that needs attention one month or one day of the year, it’s a 365 days a year issue; so let’s talk about it!

Every 40 seconds, someone around the world commits suicide. In the US alone there are 132 suicides on average each day. These statistics are alarming and something that can be prevented by ending the stigma around mental illness and getting help.

TAKE CARE OF YOUR MENTAL HEALTH

The stress of 2020 alone can be taking a toll on your mental health and you are not alone. It’s important to take steps towards real self-care and addressing these issues.

  • Talk to a friend – Pick up your phone, create a Zoom or Teams call, meet up at a park or outside your home, whatever the method is, go talk to a friend or family member you can trust and ask them to listen. Let them know how you’re feeling, oftentimes this helps alleviate the stresses we hold on our shoulders.
  • Eat well – Food has a huge impact on our mood and cognition. Not getting a specific nutrient can affect your mental health! In fact, researchers have found that poor diets play a role in worsening mood disorders, such as anxiety and depression. It’s important to put food in your body that doesn’t just make you feel better in the moment, but also the next day.
  • Meditate or Take A Break – Oftentimes, we’re too busy running around, thinking too much about changes we need to make, or wondering what the future looks like that we forget to slow down and take a breath. It’s critical to give yourself time to decompress and live in the now. You can take a walk, meditate for a few minutes, try out yoga, or work on some breathing exercises, whatever you can do to force yourself to slow down.
  • Stay Active – Your physical health affects your mental health! If you are not taking care of your body, this can easily affect your mood and stress levels. Even by just moving your body for 30-60 minutes, three days a week can help relieve stress and sleep better. Exercise can not cure depression, anxiety, or other mental illnesses but it can help boost your overall mood and provide an additional outlet to manage your mental health.
  • Go Outside –  Time spent outside may have a positive impact on your mental health! Some studies have shown that nature can lift your mood or lower anxiety. So take a minute to step outdoors and reduce your screen time!

HOW TO HELP OTHERS

Helping others is also critical we can’t all go through this alone.

  • Check-In! Ask Questions – If you know someone who may be struggling or if you don’t know, it’s important to check-in and ask! Everyone shows emotions differently and they may be struggling on the inside and hoping someone will reach out to help.
  • Help Them Connect – Help them connect with others who can support them, either through an online group or a local chapter. Having a support group that has felt what they are feeling or helping them find the resources they need for professional guidance can make a significant impact.
  • Follow Up and Keep Showing Up – It’s easy to check in on your friends once but it’s important to keep checking in on your friends. Keep the conversation going! Consistency can make a world of difference for someone that is struggling.

RESOURCES

Did you know your WCUI Student Services team is also here to help? They are always available to be the listening ear and can help you connect with resources in your area to support you, your education, or your health. Connect with them:

In addition, there are a lot of wonderful foundations and programs available if you are in need, want to help someone in need, or are looking to advocate for suicide prevention. We’ve made a short list here, but your Student Services team can also help you find a resource for your specific needs:

There is no judgment. You are not alone. So let’s keep talking.

On Monday, June 1, 2020, WCUI released this statement to our students, staff, and faculty:

Dear WCUI Students,   

We are deeply appreciative of all members of the WCUI community and we believe that WCUI, as a community of Students, Staff, and Faculty, has an obligation to work to end social injustice and systemic racism. The losses of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and too many others to violence driven by hate and prejudice affirm our responsibility to work together to create a society where discrimination and racism are no longer tolerated.   

WCUI has structured a continual donation to Color of Change, which leads campaigns to fight for racial justice and build strength for Black communities. Racial injustice must be our focus not only in times of civil unrest but also in times when injustice may go unnoticed. WCUI is committed to driving change in our communities and working to end unequal justice and systemic racism. As always, we are open to your feedback on how we can do better as a school on these issues, please use Text-the-Top for your thoughts, concerns, or suggestions.  

The safety of our students, staff, faculty, and surrounding communities have always been a top priority at WCUI, this is why our campuses are closed today and likely tomorrow. We will monitor the situation on a day-to-day basis. For MRI and Nursing, please wait to hear from your instructor or Program Director.    

We encourage everyone to speak out, reject hatred, share peace, and always be safe. If you have any concerns, our Student Advocates and the WCUI team are here to support you and listen. Please connect with us by emailing your students advocate at:  

Mental Health Resources:  

  • https://www.crisistextline.org/  Text HOME to (741741) from anywhere in the United States, anytime. Crisis Text Line is here for any crisis. A live, trained Crisis Counselor receives the text and responds, all from our secure online platform. The volunteer Crisis Counselor will help you move from a hot moment to a cool moment.  
  • California Peer-Run Warm Line – https://www.mentalhealthsf.org/peer-run-warmline/   

 Thank you WCUI, we appreciate everything you do. Please join us as we continue to get better and promote positive change. 

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