Sadly, the University of Houston has lost another student to suicide. This is the second student to die by suicide within a month, and the third student to die since 2017 in the Agnes Arnold Hall. This brings many questions as to why does this keep occurring, and what steps are being taken to ensure this doesn’t happen again?
Mental health is real, and it is important that we not only check on our loved ones but take inventory of how we are feeling mentally as well. There is so much going on in the world right now. We are constantly taking in so much negative information around us such as violence, shootings, wars, racism, hatred, and the list goes on. Not to mention just regular everyday life stuff we must deal with such as bills, kids, spouses, and even our jobs. It can be overwhelming, which is why I think we all can do a better job of checking in on one another. It is easy to get caught up in your own world sometimes, but there are people in our lives who may be hurting and who may need help, including you.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) WISQARS Leading Causes of Death Reports in 2020, suicide took the lives of over 45, 900 people and was the twelfth leading cause of death in the United States. Sadly, the report also mentioned that “suicide was the second leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 10-14 and 25-34, the third leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 15-24, and the fourth leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 35 and 44.” This is very unfortunate, and I wish there was more that could have been done to save these individuals.
We can’t bring them back, but just maybe we can help someone else. The signs may not always be there, but if we are consistent in checking up on our loved ones, it could make all the difference. I also think that we need to let go of this negative connotation that can come with mental health issues. At some point in all our lives, we have dealt with some form of mental health whether you recognized it or not, or if you accepted it or not.
We also must know that it is okay to not be okay. It is okay to ask for help. It is okay to cry. It is okay to feel whatever you’re feeling. Do not be ashamed by any of it. I am a strong believer in therapy. I think it works if you’re willing to commit to it. But you must put in the work. At the end of the day, I think we’re more alike more than we’ll ever know. I also think you’d be surprised how many people give off the impression that they are okay but internally, they’re struggling.
I say this with love and conviction, go check on your people.
Photo Credit: Christina Morillo