North Texas Daily

UNT handled suicide prevention week the right way

UNT handled suicide prevention week the right way

September 15
12:17 2017

Did you know what this week was?

It was National Suicide Prevention Week, with National Suicide Prevention Day being observed on Sept. 10. The UNT Office of Health and Wellness Services held a week-long event with each day addressing a different aspect of suicide prevention.

On Monday, UNT helped raise awareness.

The Office of Health and Wellness Services handed out yellow ribbons, which have become a national symbol for suicide prevention. It was a small, yet thoughtful gesture the entire community was able to participate in.

More importantly, however, it was the correct was to address suicide prevention.

Because as we have seen before, there is a right way and a wrong way to go about it.

Still fresh in many college students’ minds is the aftermath of Netflix’s abysmal attempt to raise suicide awareness with 13 Reasons Why. The show caused a spike in searches using the keyword “suicide” and even caused up to a 26 percent spike in the phrase “how to commit suicide.”

The Netflix original depicted suicide graphically–very graphically. This is how not to address suicide prevention.

It creates stress for those who may already be considering the act, and creates a memory for someone who may be a survivor. It is insensitive and unnecessary.

Talking about suicide in the United States, and especially on college campuses, is a delicate situation that must be treated with care. Instead of a poignant approach like Netflix took, UNT opted for a much lighter method, which is greatly appreciated.

“You are never alone,” is a popular phrase among suicide prevention groups, and is how UNT decided to approach this issue. It appears to be working, and this is not the first time it has been proven to be effective.

Maryland-based rapper Logic enjoyed a meteoric rise to stardom over the past couple years, just recently breaking into the Billboard Hot 100 top five for the first time in his career with his song “1-800-273-8255,” the number for the suicide prevention hotline.

After he gave an outstanding performance at the VMAs of the new single, the hotline reported a 50 percent increase in call volume.

That is how you address suicide prevention. You address it so those affected can relate. They feel alone. They need to know people can relate to their struggles and want to understand what they are going through.

Logic wants people to know they are not alone in the first lines of the track.

“I’ve been on the low / I been taking my time / I feel like I’m out of my mind / It feel like my life ain’t mine / Who can relate?”

That is what suicide prevention requires—letting people know they are not alone.

So thank you to the Office of Health and Wellness Services for understanding how to address suicide prevention. Thank you for giving the entire community the opportunity to get involved.

You did it right.

Featured Image: Chestnut Hall. File

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North Texas Daily

North Texas Daily

The North Texas Daily is the official student newspaper of the University of North Texas, proudly serving UNT and the Denton community since 1916.

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