Suicide Prevention/Awareness for Post-Secondary Students

Rania M M Watts

40 seconds; how long does it take you to get a drink from the fridge, tie your shoelaces, text someone to say I love you, order a meal from your favourite fast-food place, set a tiny goal and objective, or change your Google one drive password settings? Consider the duration of time that it takes to complete a simple and quick task.  

40 seconds may not seem like a tremendous amount of sand granules. However, according to the WHO’s News Release from 2019 – one person dies by their own hands via the method of suicide EVERY 40 seconds. 

As quoted by WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus “Despite progress, one person still dies every 40 seconds from suicide. Every death is a tragedy for family, friends, and colleagues. Yet suicides are preventable. We call on all countries to incorporate proven suicide prevention strategies into national health and education programmes in a sustainable way.” (Ghebreyesus, 2019) 

The statistics are indeed grim. Suicide is one of the most frightful concepts and authentically occurs more times than humans would ever want to count.  This issue has been prevalent on our globe from the earliest times, tragically in hushed corners, as a mark of shame on our contemporary world. The stigma associated with this word that weighs so heavily in power and definition must be eradicated from our universe.  

In 2006 it was reported that suicide was the third leading cause of death amongst youth. Fast forward 14 years, and it has escalated to being the second leading cause of death (Pavela, 2006). 

Suicide amongst post secondary students clearly is escalating in massive proportions. A complete annihilation of suicide would be a dream come true but seems strangely unrealistic.

Nevertheless, there are prevention measures that can be put in place to ensure that awareness is plastered all over this globe – especially for students in their last year of secondary or first year of post secondary studies. 

I know, eradication of suicide seems like an unattainable goal however, with solid support and interventions in place, lives can and will be saved – one at a time – to impact myriads of students. 

At present a plethora of hands are reaching out for aid, to ensure someone is on the other side, holding tightly onto them until the crisis has averted; with a fortified action plan in place in lieu of any future trepidation – with sustainable means for a forthcoming positive life for said students.

Any personal opinions expressed in this blog solely belong to the author Rania Watts and not the Practitioner advertised in this website or social media.

Suicide Distress Centre 

Crisis Centres & Helplines

Pavela, G. (2006). Should Colleges Withdraw Students Who Threaten or Attempt Suicide? Journal of  

American College Health, 54(6). 367-371. DOI 10.320/JACH.54.6.367-371                                            

World Health Organization. (2019, September 9). Suicide: one person dies every 40 seconds [Press release]. https://www.who.int/news/item/09-09-2019-suicide-one-person-dies-every-40-seconds

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