Diana Hercules | Mental Health Awareness

At least one in five youth aged 9–17 years currently has a diagnosable mental health disorder. There are many different kinds of mental health issues that people deal with such as depression, anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive disorders and schizophrenia to name a few. No matter what mental health issue someone is dealing with, it is an everyday battle that can be difficult to manage and can even lead to suicide. Suicide is the SECOND leading cause of death of US youth ages 10-35, with depression as the number one mental health issue that can lead to it 

Increasing awareness and knowledge CAN actually prevent suicide which is why we need to end the stigma surrounding it. The first important thing to know is what can put people at a higher risk. For example, people who suffer from mental health issues or deal with stressful situations, such as bullying or other hardships, are at a higher risk for suicide than others. 

Second, it is also important to notice the warning signs of someone who is struggling with suicidal thoughts. Some warning signs can be people’s words, actions, or behaviors, and here are some examples:  Saying things along the lines of not wanting to live.  Sudden abuse of drugs or alcohol. Losing interest in things that used to be enjoyed. 

If any of these signs become apparentnext steps should be taken. Privately ask them how they are doing and let them know you care. Although suicide is a heavy topic, it is necessary to directly ask the person if they are feeling suicidal. Do not give the person advice as they are in a fragile state and should get advice from a professional. 

– Submitted by Contributing Author, Diana Hercules, Boston University Student