By Maria Rodriguez
College students undergo changes in their personal and professional lives. But these changes may be overwhelming and lead some to believe that ending their lives is the only solution.
Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States, taking more than 40,000 lives annually. However, it’s second cause of death among college students.
“Are you thinking about suicide?” said Supervisor of Kern County Mental Health Ellen Eggert.
Suicide rate among college students has become more common. Recent studies show an increase in the percentage of students who harm themselves alarmed Health Services Assistant Director Erika Delamar and CSUB counselor Eric Lord.
Lord decided to create and teach a course he calls Inspire, to educate students on ways to deal with thoughts of self-harm and help others in need.
“You guys are going to go out and apply what you’ve learned with the campus community,” said Lord.
On Feb. 28, Eggert attended the course and shared her personal story as a survivor.
“Take care of you,” said Eggert. “If you have to take a semester off, take a semester off. You’ve got the rest of your life to finish school.”
It’s not always easy to decipher what a person is feeling. Just like CSUB student Jorge Mosqueda’s friend Los Ortiz, who he said seemed like the happiest guy in his fraternity, and without any warning sign, committed suicide.
“It’s always the happiest people that are the most sad,” said Mosqueda. “They just like to cover it up to show the opposite. But in reality, they are the ones suffering the most.”
He said he’s still trying to cope with the loss of his fraternity brother.
Student Karina Macias believes that college students undergo severe pressure.
“They may have stress from work and school, and you add that to the stress of other problems,” said Macias.
All students can stop by the counseling center to make an appointment, and anyone having thoughts of suicide may call the suicide prevention lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 for help.