Madison Carver –
“It’s better to lose the friendship, than the friend.”
-Every adult ever
When should you ACT if your friend or family member is thinking about committing suicide? Every time.
If someone you know is contemplating suicide or even thinking of hurting themselves, you need to ACT. ACT is the acronym for Acknowledge, Care, and Tell.
Are you concerned about a friend wanting to kill themselves? LHS social worker Sue Dutton said some common warning signs include, changes in eating and sleeping habits, increased anxiety, lack of connection to those around them, and going through a recent tragedy (ie. death, divorce, expulsion, etc.). “Most students display some warning signs of their intentions,” Dutton said.
Dutton said to always tell someone, whether that be an older sibling, a parent, counselor, teacher, just tell someone you trust. Acknowledge the fact that your friend needs help. Care and let them know that you love them, that they are not alone. Tell, never keep this a secret, some things need to be shared. “If need be, call the police,” Dutton said.
Even parents are being taught about ACT. Parents will be receiving a big envelope with information all about suicide and prevention. “What we know as a fact is that talking about suicide prevention and awareness doesn’t cause anyone to commit suicide, so the more that we can talk about it the better,” Dutton said. This year, the number of suicides, compared to last year in Lincoln doubled. We have had at least 9 suicides of people ages 13-19, and that doesn’t include adults who committed suicide. “Suicide is preventable,” Said Dutton. Suicide is the third leading cause of death of children 10-14, and the second of people 15-24.
There are always options. Here in Lincoln, all you have to do is go to the emergency room at Bryan West Hospital, located at 2300 S 16th St, there you will receive a free screening and they will tell you what you can do from there. Some people are admitted to inpatient therapy from 3-5 days, some do outpatient therapy and are only there for part of the day. If you feel as if you need counseling, you may qualify for free counseling here at the school. Talk to your counselor if interested. Reliable suicide hotlines include 1-800-273-TALK (8255), and the Boys Town Hotline, 1-800-448-3000. Both are open 24/7. Never hesitate to call.