Suicide is not selfish. It is not a choice. It is not a coward’s way out. It is not the answer.
Suicide is preventable.
Growing up, I had a silent struggle with mental illness that deepened into suicidal thoughts when I came to college. I tried to deal with it by myself, but that was only making things worse. It wasn’t until I opened up about what I was going through that I found the support I needed. I was lucky to receive treatment and learn how to manage my anxiety and depression.
One of the most important things I learned in all of this is that mental illness is much more common than I thought. It wasn’t a burden I had to carry on my own.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death for college students. However, many misconceptions still exist about these issues. As college students, it’s not always easy to prioritize our own mental health. That’s why it’s so important to break the stigma around suicide and mental illness to show everyone that no one is alone in their struggles. At UW, Ask.Listen.Save. is here to support you.
Ask.Listen.Save. is UW-Madison’s suicide prevention organization. It encourages people to ASK how their friends are doing, LISTEN and pay attention to possible warning signs, and potentially SAVE a life.
Joining Ask.Listen.Save. was one of the best decisions of my college career. I found a community of people who understood and empowered me to advocate for others.
The organization provides resources around the community for students who may be afraid to ask for help.
I must also encourage all of you to come to our annual Out of the Darkness Walk on April 22nd to raise money for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and walk for loss and life!
It is important to remember that suicide does not discriminate. People of all genders, ages, and identities can be at risk. As fellow peers, it’s important to look out for changes in friends’ behavior that may be warning signs of suicide.
For resources or more information about Ask.Listen.Save., go to www.asklistensave.org.
If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). You matter!