Newsletters for Mental Health
Audrey Cowling, Intern Counselor, MSOE Counseling Services
  Sept. 2012

Have you ever felt so unhappy or distressed that you thought about hurting yourself? Maybe you have been worried about a friend who just hasn’t been acting like him- or herself. If so, you are not alone. Here are the facts: Suicide is the second leading cause of death in college students. And 1 in 10 college students has considered suicide. However, most people who are suicidal don’t actually want to die; they just don’t see any other solution. If you or someone you know is struggling, it is important to remember that there are many resources that can help. You don’t have to go through it alone.

The best way to prevent suicide is to know the warning signs and how to respond if you notice them in yourself or someone you know.

  Warning Signs

 

  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
  • Acting reckless, engaging in risky activities
  • Feeling trapped,  like there’s no way out
  • Increased use of alcohol or drugs
  • Withdrawing from family, friends, normal activities
  • Anxiety and agitation
  • Sleeping more or less than usual
  • Extreme mood swings/changes
  • Talking about seeking revenge or wanting to die
  • Looking for a way to kill oneself
  What to do if you need help:

 

  • If you are having thoughts of suicide, don’t keep them to yourself. Get help immediately. You can call the Suicide Prevention Crisis Line of Milwaukee 24 hours a day at (414) 257-7222. You can also contact MSOE Counseling Services at (414) 277-7590 or call Public Safety at (414) 277-7159.
  • Reach out to someone you trust – it could be a parent, sibling, friend, professor, RA – and let them know how you are feeling.
  • Avoid risky situations. For example, you might think that alcohol will make you forget your troubles, but it is actually a depressant, and it can affect your judgment and self control, making the situation even worse.
  • Think about a time when you felt good about yourself, when things were going well. Ask yourself what small steps you can take to get back to feeling positive and hopeful about life.
  • Make of list of five things you will do if you start feeling desperate (ex. call a friend, take a walk, listen to music) and keep it somewhere nearby.
  What to do if someone you know needs help:

 

  • Take them seriously when they talk about their feelings and be willing to listen.
  • Encourage the person to seek help immediately. Let them know that there are resources available. Offer to go with them to MSOE Counseling Services, or together call the Suicide Prevention Crisis Line of Milwaukee, or check out the other resources listed below.
  • Don’t worry about saying the wrong thing. What’s important is that you are there to support and help him or her.  By listening you let the person hear themselves and are offering hope.
  • Don’t leave the person alone if he or she is talking about committing suicide. Stay with him or her and call for help.
  • Understand that you do not have to deal with this alone and that it is important to take care of yourself. Talk to a family member, friend, RA, counselor, or anyone else you trust.
  Resources

 

  • MSOE Counseling Services
    • Offers confidential, individual appointments to MSOE students.
    • (414) 277-7590
  • Suicide Prevention Crisis Line of Milwaukee
    • Crisis counselors available to talk 24 hours a day.
    • (414) 257-7222
  • National Suicide Prevention Hotline
    • Helps individuals in crisis to contact the nearest available suicide prevention and mental health service providers; available 24 hours a day.
    • 1-800-273-8255 (TALK)
  • Half of Us Campaign
    • Raises awareness about the prevalence of mental health issues and connects students to appropriate resources to get help.
    • Half of Us Online
  • Transition Year
    • Online resource center to help parents and students focus on emotional health before, during, and after the college transition.
    • Transition Year Online
  • Jed Foundation
    • Nation’s leading organization working to reduce emotional distress and prevent suicide among college students.
    • Jed Foundation
  • To Write Love on Her Arms
    • Non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide.
    • To Write Love on Her Arms Online