Today: Jul 17, 2024

Wellbeing Center educates students on suicide prevention

Brandon Cortés- News Writer

The Wellbeing Center organized a QPR event, also known as Question, Persuade, Refer, with the aim of disseminating information on how to prevent suicide. The event took place in Room 201 of the Adanti Student Center. 

Allyson Regis, Coordinator of the Wellbeing Center, views this event as a valuable opportunity for students to learn how to respond effectively if they encounter a situation where someone they know might be contemplating suicide. 

Shane Lister, a graduate intern at the Wellbeing Center, emphasized that the event does not aim to provide counseling or treatment. He clarified that attending the event does not automatically make attendees qualified counselors for handling such situations. Rather, the event’s purpose is to offer hope and support. 

“We want you to leave with the necessary tools to spread hope to those who are contemplating suicide,” Lister said. 

Throughout the event, participants received insightful information regarding the significant impact of cultural and identity context on an individual’s mental health. 

Speakers delved into the intricate ways in which cultural backgrounds, identity, beliefs and societal norms can profoundly influence an individual’s wellbeing, psychological state and their decision to seek help  

They emphasized the importance of understanding and considering diverse cultural perspectives when addressing mental health issues, highlighting how cultural sensitivity plays a pivotal role in providing effective support and interventions. 

Brandon Iovene, graduate intern at the SAGE Center, said that from their personal experience, there are many tragic cases in marginalized communities. 

“I don’t think I’ve met one person in the LGBT+ community who has not –at one point in time– suffered from any sort of mental health issues and this is mainly because there is a lot of stigmatization around queer identities,” Iovene said. “A lot of people face a lot of pressure from their family and friends when it comes to showing their true identity. Many times, this can lead to people planning on committing suicide or even suicidal thoughts, and at SAGE center, we have seen cases like this.” 

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people aged 10 to 14, and the third leading cause of death among 15-24 year olds according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ+) young people are at significantly increased risk. 

The Trevor Project, a non-profit organization which supports LGBTQ+ youth, estimates that more than 1.8 million LGBTQ+ young people ages 13-24 seriously consider suicide each year in the U.S., and at least one attempts suicide every 45 seconds.  

Furthermore, their research unveiled that within the LGBTQ+ demographic, a concerning 41% of young individuals seriously pondered attempting suicide within the preceding year. This poignant statistic becomes even more alarming when considering that approximately half of transgender and nonbinary youth fell into this category.  

These distressing figures underscore the pressing need for targeted support and resources aimed at addressing the unique mental health challenges faced by LGBTQ+ individuals, particularly transgender and nonbinary youth, to mitigate further instances of distress and foster overall wellbeing. 

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