Image courtesy of guideinc.org
By Kat Kaderabek
The month of September is deemed National Suicide Prevention Month, and the Catholic University community is still taking steps to raise awareness for this devastating reality, even while the community remains separated.
According to safecolleges.com, suicide is the second most common cause of death among college students. The advent of the global pandemic has set mental health as a huge concern amongst people, most especially the health of students and the elderly.
Regardless of age, gender, sex, or ethinicity, suicide has the potential to affect anyone. It is vital to know the services and methods to help with coping with mental health issues. It could save someone’s life, or your own.
In an effort to destigmatize suicide, the National Hotline will be receiving its own three-digit dial-code 988. However, this number does not go into effect for at least another eighteen months as reported by NPR.org.
As the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, this is a productive and life-saving decision that has the potential to lower the suicide rate. Currently, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 800-273-8255. It is open twenty-four hours for free confidential calls in both English and Spanish.
The Safe Colleges website has reported 80-90% of college students who have committed suicide were not receiving help from college counselors. The Catholic University Counseling Center has recognized these numbers and implemented several options to help those struggling with suicidal thoughts.
All students are eligible to receive forty-five free sessions at The Counseling Center during their undergraduate studies, as well as forty-five free sessions as a graduate student. These sessions appear as a one-on-one confidential counseling appointment, but group counseling sessions are also offered. These group sessions include Stress Management 101, Building Your Mental Health Pandemic Toolkit, and Mosaic.
Counseling is also available virtually; however, it is currently state-dependent during the pandemic. Regardless of this, the counselors at the Counseling Center will work diligently to find a local counselor if needed.
“During these times of uncertainty that require our flexibility and resilience, it is important to engage in self-care,” said CUA counselor Rebecca Kim. “Self-care can include daily exercise, meditation, hobbies, social connections, and getting enough sleep. The Counseling Center is offering a variety of resources to help strengthen those self-care strategies.”
She urges those who are in need of these services to please contact the Counseling Center for more information at 202-319-5765. Additionally, there are self-help resources on the website – including links to guided meditations and other helpful information.
Prioritizing one’s mental health is equally as important as taking care of oneself physically. While this is a very overwhelming and upsetting topic, it is an important issue to address. Suicide is preventable. The Catholic University of America is intent on raising awareness and connecting the community even amidst a global pandemic.
You are never alone. Once a Cardinal, always a Cardinal.
Your community is here for you.