Concerns about suicide and the mental health of students are being raised at BGSU after a local high school student took his own life at the beginning of April.
Courtney Foerg, a freshman social work major, believes these concerns exist because mental health isn’t as much of a priority as it should be for people.
“Mental health needs to be more of a priority to teachers and administrators. Without stable mental health, students can’t succeed,” Foerg said.
There are many warning signs for identifying suicidal tendencies.
According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, one warning sign is a person talking about killing themselves, having no reason to live and feeling pain, as well as other variations of this thinking.
Other warning signs include increasing use of alcohol or drugs, withdrawing from activities, isolating from family and friends, sleeping too much or too little and visiting or calling people to say goodbye. The at-risk people’s moods can also change to display depression, anxiety, loss of interest, irritability and agitation or anger.
Suicidal tendencies can be a result of some mental health conditions, such as depression or anxiety disorders, as well as serious physical health conditions and traumatic brain injuries.
Historical factors also can attribute to suicidal tendencies, of which includes previous suicide attempts, family history of suicide and childhood abuse, neglect or trauma.
These tendencies can also be a result of environment factors such as prolonged stress, stressful life events, exposure to another person’s suicide and access to lethal devices like firearms and drugs.
Even though these warning signs and factors are common, according to the AFSP, there is no single cause for suicide.
However, it says students, faculty and staff can still look for family, friends and peers to help make sure their mental health is stable.
Foerg believes being present in relationships with one’s friends and paying attention to what they are saying is important in making sure they are doing okay.
“Make sure you are always truly listening and taking everything your friends say seriously,” Foerg said.
No matter the state of one’s mental health, all students at BGSU have access to the Counseling Center.
According to the center’s website, it “strives to promote the psychological wellbeing of students from diverse backgrounds; to foster their development, learning, and academic success; and to provide appropriate intervention when students are experiencing serious mental health concerns.”
If you are concerned with the mental health of someone in your life, don’t stay silent about it. For more information on suicide prevention, visit the AFSP’s website.