Young people are most susceptible to suicide - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Young people are most susceptible to suicide

September 27, 2006

Albany -- A shocking story about one of the NFL's most controversial players hit the headlines Wednesday. According to a Dallas Police Department report, Cowboy's wide receiver Terrell Owens attempted suicide.

He denies that, and says he had a reaction from painkillers and natural supplements. Still, it brought renewed attention to the problem of suicide.

Young people like college students, are most susceptible to suicide. Albany State University counselor Stephanie Harris-Jolly recalls what many students tell her when they're thinking about taking their own life.

"There's no use in going on to tomorrow. I don't see any future. Can't see the light at the end of the tunnel," said Dr. Jolly.

She is proactive in improving their mental health and state of mind.

"People are now understand that mental health issues some things can be avoided if we just get the proper care or counseling or therapy early on," said Dr. Stephanie Harris-Jolly.

Suicide is a public health issue that affects all ages. Dr. Harris-Jolly says the most effective way to prevent suicide is through education and early detection of any problems. She warns people to watch out for red flags and behavioral changes in loved ones.

Some of those warning signs include:

  • A person who talks about having no reason to live.
  • Statements about hopelessness or helplessness.
  • Giving away prized possessions.
  • Behavioral changes, especially those related to depression.
  • A person currently experiencing a major life change such as the death of a loved one or loss of a job.

Dr. Harris-Jolly says college students are particularly at-risk because of the added stress and life changes such as living away from home, graduating, finding a job, and dealing with finances. But those hard times are temporary, while suicide is not.

"It's a serious issue because if one completes the task then it's final and then you leave your significant other or your family members wondering why or what they could have done differently," said Dr. Harris-Jolly.

Suicide is a killer that everyone can help stop by watching for the warning signs in others. Harris-Jolly says there hasn't been a suicide on ASU's campus since the 1980's.

There were two attempts last year, and two students have been taken to the hospital for observation so far this year.

Albany has a crisis hotline to help people thinking about suicide. That number is 229-430-4052.

Feedback: news@walb.com?subject=PreventingSuicide/NJ

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