The Start of Fall and Suicide Prevention

The Start of Fall and Suicide Prevention

Kate DeGarmo, Reporter

   As we move into the first full day of fall 2021, it is important to raise the topic of suicide and Seasonal Affective Disorder. As it is September, it’s important to talk about suicide because September is nationally recognized as Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. In middle school, they would show those cheesy videos during the first week of September and we’d all cringe and think it was ridiculous, but the school showed them for a reason. They knew suicide is the leading cause of death in young adults. 

   This is the first ‘normal’ school year since 2018-2019, which makes this topic even more relevant. Stress is a large factor in youth suicide, and high school in a pandemic can definitely be considered stressful. 

   As we start autumn, it is pertinent to discuss Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD is also sometimes called seasonal depression. The signs of SAD are sadness or depression, loss of interest in activities the person once enjoyed, changes in appetite and sleeping habits (mainly overeating/sleeping), loss of energy even with increased sleep, increase in purposeless activity- (such as bouncing of the leg, tapping, etc.), slowed movements and speech, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, difficulty concentrating, and thoughts of death or suicide. These are all important signs to look for in high schoolers because these aren’t exclusive to SAD but they often overlap with other mental health issues that could potentially lead to suicide. It’s important to remember SAD isn’t just a winter illness, it can also affect people during summer. It’s always important to look for signs of poor mental health. 

For more information about mental health and how to prevent suicide, go to these helpful resources:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline toll-free at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Crisis Text Line (HELLO to 741741)

 https://jedfoundation.org/suicide-prevention-awareness-month-2021/ 

 https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/depression/seasonal-affective-disorder

 https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/seasonal-affective-disorder. 

https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

 https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/help-yourself/youth/