Silence onsuicides continues to grow louder each day on college campuses around the country.
As it happens, September is Suicide Prevention Month, and FAMU decided to have asSuicide prevention training. Because of the pandemic, the suicide prevention training was available through Zoom for FAMU students, faculty and staff.
The first university prevention training was from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Sept. 9. However, the Zoom session was over-capacity and some students were not able to attend the training.
Residential assistant Willis Charlemond was one of those students who could not enter the Zoom call. Charlemond lost a friend due to suicide his senior year of high school. He understands the importance of this cause because sometimes you never know what someone is really going through in life.
“There are many students who think about suicide but it is never really talked about until a big story of a student from anywhere commits suicide. I think they [FAMU] can do better with informing students and the school as a whole,” Charlemond said.
Resident assistants undergo intense training in regard to suicide prevention and recognizing suicidal behavior among their residents. But, is the same intense training available and at easy access for those not employed by FAMU housing?
“I feel like students who are suicidal don’t trust anyone to talk to them about what they are going through and how they are feeling. So, if they could get the students to trust them I feel like it would help at least,” Charlemond said.
The suicide rates for college students have continued to rise and is now the second leading cause of deaths for the 15-19 and 20-24 age groups. The CDC recorded in 2019 that suicide rates within these age groups were stable from 2000-2007 but have increased 56% between then and 2017.
Student body Vice President Carrington Whigham thinks FAMU is doing its best under the circumstances and must rely on the student body to tune in on the topic. She encourages students to do their part and spread the word about the importance of suicide prevention because you never know where life can take you.
“It’s one thing to have knowledge and information. But it’s another thing to make sure those around you and in your community also have that same information to make sure that everyone is held accountable so we can tackle suicide prevention as a whole,” said Whigham.
FAMU’s Office of Counseling Services will be providing another suicide prevention training scheduled for fo 2 to 3:30 p.m. Sept. 23.