Nacogdoches experts speak on suicide prevention

BEAUMONT, TX (News Release) - By Donna McCollum - email

NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - Autumn, the holidays, and the approaching shorter days of winter. For some individuals, an otherwise joyous time, can lead to untreated depression, the number one cause for suicide.

"The holidays do have a lot of stress attached to them, particularly if depression or anxiety has been part of a person's makeup over time," said Jan Rhodes the Samaritan Center director.

Elton John, Angelina Jolie, rap singer Genuwine, even Abraham Lincoln had their lives saved through suicide intervention.

"I don't think we should be smug and think we could never be depressed or have issues or problems because I think we all could," Rhodes said.

Judy Buckingham, a co-leader of a grief support group, commonly hears people say they don't want to live.

"There's some relief in being able to just say it out loud, hear your voice say it and think, 'No, I really don't want to do that. It's just how I'm feeling right now.' It's just this deep sadness that I have," Buckingham said.

The good news is suicide is preventable. SFA requires students to learn QPR, a workshop that certifies participants as suicide prevention gatekeepers.

"It's not a dangerous thing to say to somebody, 'Are you thinking of doing something to harm yourself?' because it just gives them permission to talk about it," Buckingham said. "It's not that you're going to give them the idea to do it."

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for college students. About 30,000 people die by suicide each year in the United States. Unfortunately, the occurrence often spikes during the holiday season.

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