You Are Not Alone: Suicide Prevention Month
September is known for many things: the changing seasons, the Harvest Moon, the aggressive marketing of pumpkin spice laced food and beverages. It is also the month to pause and reflect on one of the most preventable tragedies in American society that leads to millions of deaths in United States and is one of the leading causes of death for college students—depression and suicide.
According to the CDC, in 2020, 12.2 million adults in the United States seriously thought about suicide. When asked about COVID-19’s impact on mental health, licensed clinical psychologist and National Clinical Director of Virtual Care for Pathlight Mood & Anxiety Center Dr. Deborah Michel comments, “There are plenty of studies that reflect the fact that we have seen a huge increase in mental health problems across the nation as a result of the pandemic.”
The pandemic amplified a problem that has existed well ahead of any of our lifetimes. That problem is the stigma associated with seeking help for depression, even when millions of people are affected by it.
If there is one positive lesson that has emerged from the coronavirus pandemic, it is that we are all in this together.
HCC Student Government Association President Israah Ansari, when asked about the stigma of seeking help, expresses, “There are people here and in this world who want to help and who genuinely want to see people overcome these kinds of bumps in the road and who are genuinely there for them, so they should turn to that as opposed to keeping it all in.”
“People don’t have to suffer with this,” Dr. Michel adds. “Depression is treatable.”