Category Archives: suicide prevention

World Health Day April 7th 2017

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Every year on April 7th we celebrate World Health Day to remember the day that the World Health Organization was formed. (W.H.O.) Every year this day has a theme, and this year it’s Depression. Their slogan “Depression: Let’s Talk”  is trying to get people to open up about their disorder and get the help they may need. They have several goals about what they want to see happen:

  • the general public is better informed about depression, its causes and possible consequences, including suicide, and what help is or can be available for prevention and treatment
  • people with depression seek help
  • family, friends and colleagues of people living with depression are able to provide support

WHO defines a case of depression when a person has gone at least 2 weeks with persistent sadness and they don’t enjoy doing any of their normal activities, which prevents them from carrying out every day activities. There are a few more symptoms that people who are afflicted by depression may have:

  • a loss of energy
  • a change in appetite
  • sleeping more or less
  • anxiety
  • reduced concentration
  • indecisiveness
  • restlessness
  • feelings of worthlessness, guilt or hopelessness
  • thoughts of self-harm or suicide

The number of people that have being diagnosed every year with depression has seen an 18% increase in the last decade. The low estimates have depression affecting 322 million people worldwide, about 4.4% of the population.

Depression can be effectively prevented and treated. Treatment usually involves either a talking therapy or antidepressant medication or a combination of these. Overcoming the stigma often associated with depression will lead to more people getting help.

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March 2017 is Self-Injury Awareness Month

Self injury month

This month long observation is recognized in the United States, Canada, and Western Europe. In the U.S. alone there are 2 million cases of self-injury reported annually, mostly among youth. It’s time to end the stigma of self-harm.

Self injury is any deliberate, non-suicidal behavior that inflicts injury on one’s body. Although self injury is not a suicidal behavior if the emotional trauma that causes one to self-harm continues it can lead to suicidal thoughts or actions. People often self harm as a way to confront emotional pain. When most people think of self-harm they often think of cutting, but there are many other forms. Actions such as burning, scratching, consuming harmful products such as bleach, pulling out clumps of hair, bruising, and breaking bones are all forms of self-injury. Self-injury is a coping mechanism and is seen as another way to deal with the emotional pain that many experience, but have difficulty handling or processing. Self-injury occurs across all ages, genders, races, and beliefs. If you know someone who self injures reach out to them and follow the tips below to do so successfully.


  1. Get angry or show disgust. Negativity alienates and ultimatums only drive the person away from you.
  2. Deny the problem. It’s not the person’s problem or just one of his/her ‘things’. It’s not a fad, social statement or a phase he/she will grow out of.
  3. Hide sharp objects. If the person wants to self-injure, he/she will find a way.
  4. Judge the severity of the injury as an indicator of the level of emotional pain. A severely depressed person might only have scratches instead of cuts.
  5. Assume the person is okay once in treatment. Recovery from self-injury can take months, maybe even years.


  1. Stay calm. Freaking out won’t solve anything. It will just close all lines of communication.
  2. Talk. Be non-judgmentally supportive. Ask “Why are you doing this to yourself?”
  3. Take the problem seriously. It’s not about attention-seeking or a growing pain.
  4. Seek treatment. Accompany the person to the doctor or counselor but don’t be pushy about privacy.
  5. Find the triggers. Focus on the underlying problems rather than just the injury.
  6. Trust the person. Self-injury is just a small part of the person.

It’s time to end the stigma of self-injury and help those who self-injure. Visit the links below for more resources on helping individuals and how to end the stigma.


Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)


It may not just be the winter blues your feeling. Between 5 an 10% of the population experience something called Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD for short. Sad is a seasonal form of depression, often linked to the decrease in sunlight. Most people begin to feel the effects of SAD in the fall and the effects can last until the spring or early summer. The farther north you go, the more likely you are to be affected by SAD.

SAD shares many symptoms with major and moderate depression, but the most common symptoms are fatigue, periods of lack of motivation, a sense of hopelessness and social withdrawal. Other common symptoms include weight gain or loss, craving carbohydrates, oversleeping, anxiety and difficulty concentrating.

There are several different methods of treatments available to ease or prevent these symptoms from interfering with your every day life. A common and easy treatment involves a light box. A light box is a bright lamp that produces energy similar to the sun. You expose your face to the lamp for about 20-30 minutes every day and it is supposed to change your brain chemistry. Not all lamps are produced the same, so it is important to speak to a doctor before you pick one out to see what your needs are.

Talk therapy is another way to help lessen the symptoms of SAD and major depression. By talking to a professional, you can identify stressors in your life that worsen or trigger the effects of SAD during the day. It can also teach you how to manage stress to keep anxiety levels down.

Some people find that medication can help prevent or lessen their symptoms when combined with another form of therapy, be it talk therapy or phototherapy. It is important to talk to your doctor before you decide medication is the best option as results can vary.


National Suicide Prevention Week


Does the number 13 mean anything to you? For many people, 13 is considered an unlucky number. This number is omitted from the floors of buildings, hospital rooms, and, in some cities, the names of streets. Many people and places try to avoid this number because of the bad luck it brings, but now the number 13 will have a new meaning to you. According to the American Association of Suicidology, almost every 13 minutes someone dies from suicide.

What can we do to lessen the frequency of this statistic? One way is to know that signs. Clinical researchers have come up with a mnemonic that you may have heard of before: IS PATH WARM. This stands for Ideation, Substance abuse, Purposelessness, Anxiety, Trapped, Hopelessness, Withdrawal, Anger, Recklessness, and Mood changes.

There are plenty of events to spread the awareness of suicide. On September 10, the campus is encouraging everyone to wear yellow for Suicide Awareness Day. The best way to go about suicide is to prevent it! Being educated on suicide and reporting signs when you see them is so important!

If you or someone you know is thinking about or showing suicidal signs, there are many places to get help!

The Hendrix Clinic and Counseling Center is available Monday-Friday from 8am-4:30pm. The number is 218-477-2211.

The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is available 24/7. This number is 1-800-273-8255.

Always remember that in emergencies you should call 911.

No matter who you are, your life matters and there is always someone wanting and waiting to help!


Site sources:

Santa Monica Police Sergeant Brown Gets “Hero Award” from AFSP