As September comes to an end, it’s important to highlight Suicide Awareness Month and advocate for mental health resources for the student body at Youngstown State University.
Suicide and depression can affect anyone at anytime.
This year, YSU has held minimal events to recognize September as Suicide Prevention Month, Suicide Prevention Week on Sept. 8-14 or Suicide Prevention Day on Sept. 10.
YSU’s National Alliance on Mental Illness didn’t host events for Suicide Awareness Month as it did in the past. Rather, the group focused on member training during the month of September.
Although the lack of awareness is disheartening, a “Suicide Prevention Sacred Purpose Event” is being held in Kilcawley Center on Sept. 30.
Also, YSU’s Students United organization held a panel filled with YSU students, tackling mental health awareness among college students by allowing them to work together as one student body to break the stigma.
Shedding light on suicide awareness and recognizing the signs of depression is essential to unite as one and bring acceptance to the mental health stigma.
Knowing the risk factors and improving the conversation among other students helps people realize they aren’t alone in their struggle with mental illness.
Additionally, the university fails to address mental health in a proper manner.
YSU currently has two counselors in Student Counseling Services, while there are 12,155 students enrolled at the university as of the fall 2019 semester.
Although there is a psychiatrist on staff at Wick Primary Care that aids with prescriptions, three people are not enough for an entire student body.
The university needs to do better. Physical health concerns are never taken lightly, so mental health should be treated the same.
Mental health issues can lead to physical problems, including death by suicide.
Although the awareness this month was less than ideal, campus groups and organizations such as Penguin Positivity, YSU CARE Team and YSU Student Counseling Services are always available for students to reach out to if they are struggling with depression or contemplating suicide.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255.