Suicide Prevention Awareness Month fails to garner attention


While I was searching commemorative months that raise awareness about issues, I was astonished to find that Sept. is the Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Though it was well into the middle of the month, it was the first mention of suicide prevention awareness that I had heard. It was interesting that I had almost gone the whole month without even knowing about it, but it was even more interesting that I wasn’t the only one who was unaware. Talking to my family and friends, I realized that hardly anyone had known about Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Even in school, there has been hardly any attention brought to the topic of suicide in general.

“I think most people here don’t understand what suicide actually is or that it is an issue. People think that it’s something people do for attention or it’s something stupid,” said Melissa Mooney, junior and member of the SPAN (Suicide Prevention and Awareness Network) club.

The club, SPAN, that Mooney is a part of has a goal to create an awareness of the people and resources easily accessible to students should they need help. SPAN is also based off a national organization, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention that is, according to their website, “dedicated to preventing suicide through public education, awareness and community action.”

According to Mooney, however, SPAN has been largely inactive for the past couple of new years. This year, there are new members and new leadership.

“I’m trying to encourage something more with Suicide Prevention Month,” Mooney said.

Thus far, however, little has been done. I find it rather unfortunate suicide, the third leading cause of death for people between 15-24 years of age and the cause of death for nearly 30,000 Americans every year, would have such little awareness and knowledge brought to the topic. Personally, I believe that more awareness about suicide prevention should be brought to students through presentations and announcements at school.

And as Mooney said, “If there’s anything we can do to prevent [suicide] at all, I think that’s the most important thing we can do.”