Out of the Darkness

Olivia Yonce | oyonce@radford.edu

The Out of Darkness Campus Walk, in association with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, shed some light on suicide prevention Saturday, April 23 at Radford University.

For those who believe they are all alone or so deep and lost in the darkness of depression that they need someone to guide them out, this walk was for them. Suicide is a sad loss, not just for the person who committed suicide, but the family and friends they leave behind.

Suicide remains the second leading cause of death for college students, as it has been since the 1950s.

“Suicide is high on college campuses. This walk is making the campus more aware of suicide prevention,” Michaela Ingle said.

47 people signed up to participate and the entire event raised $4,055, a clear victory when the goal was $2,500.

Noelle Wood heard about the walk and how it shines a light on suicide prevention and knew she had to plan one at Radford.

“Help the people who are struggling with feeling like they are alone,” said Wood, who was the inspiration behind the event.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a 24-hour, toll-free suicide prevention service available to anyone in suicidal crisis. If you need help, please dial:1 (800) 273-8255.

Some students who feel like committing suicide often have feelings of  loneliness, social alienation and isolation, lack of belonging, hostility, risky behavior, feeling like a burden to family members and friends. Suicide is the eighth leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for more than 1% of all deaths.

Each suicide intimately affects at least six other people. If someone is suicidal, they must not be left alone. Try to get the person to seek help immediately from their doctor or the nearest hospital emergency room, or call 911. It is also important to limit the person’s access to firearms, medications, or other lethal methods for suicide.

College can be a challenging time. As a college student, you have to be able to handle a lot of pressure: Pressure from parents, the school, the pressure you put on yourself, financial pressures, the competition between students to see who has more work or who has had less sleep. Pressure is a big contribute to college suicide.

With the rising number of suicides on college campuses, it is important to understand what can be done to prevent serious emotional and mental health problems among students. More than 50 percent of college students reported feeling so depressed that it was difficult for them to function during the past academic year.

Radford offers Student Counseling and has a great team committed to making sure students have someone to talk to. They are located in the lower level of Tyler Hall.

When asked about the counseling center, a student who wished to be anonymous said, “I’m going through a lot of personal issues and they are like a friend. They listen to you and they actually care.”

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