Remembering the past and preventing the future: World Suicide Prevention Day 2014

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by Bess Pearson

Staff Writer

According to Suicide Awareness Voices of Education, (SAVE), suicide ranks as the tenth leading cause of deaths for Americans, taking nearly 400,000 lives each year. Since 1952 suicide rates have more than tripled making it a rapidly-growing epidemic that especially affects people ages 15-24, acting as the second leading cause of death for this age demographic. Fortunately, The Wick has decided to take a stand against these statistics. For those who don’t know the Wick, or the Bairnwick Women’s Center, is a “student-led movement and a 24/7 safe space and source of peer support. Our role as a safe space extends past sexual assault incidents and includes support for students dealing with depression or suicidal thoughts (or those with friends who are),” explains M.C. Murphy, class of 2015, head of this effort at the Women’s Center.

The Wick was especially fervent in its efforts to raise awareness on September 10, or World Suicide Prevention Day. Flyers with phone numbers and resources for those struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts were placed in the napkin dispenser’s at McClurg. Additionally, the Wick has expanded its efforts online where they use Facebook “to display facts related to suicide rates and depression.” Furthermore, many members changed their profile pictures on Facebook to reflect facts and statistics regarding this epidemic. These are just some of the Wick’s many efforts to spread love and awareness for this ever-present issue.

As a final thought, Murphy provides the following: “If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts, there are a number of resources available. The Wick provides a constant source of support to whoever needs it. For confidential peer support, just head to the Wick (located on Mississippi Avenue, behind the BC) and contact the available resident (numbers are located through the door facing Mississipi Ave). University Counseling and Psychological Services can also be reached at (931)-598-1325 and the University Wellness Center may be reached at (931)-598- 1270.”