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  • 1. Ashley SchellhaseAP LiteratureMrs. CorbettNovember 17, 2011 Suicide Prevention People were created to love and support one another. Considering untreateddepression is the number one cause of suicide, more people need to be there for oneanother. With the dramatically increasing percentages of the suicide rate, as many peopleas possible need to be educated, warned, and inspired about this issue (Schellhase).Suicide prevention begins with spreading awareness in the community, educating peopleon the signs of depression, and finally to provide consolation for those recently affected. To begin, it is important to understand what a growing epidemic suicide hasbecome in today’s society. For example, the World Health Organization found that, “121million people worldwide suffer from depression” (TWLOHA). The scariest thought isthat over 18 million of these cases are occurring throughout the United States. Depressionhas become more common due to factors such as the divorce rate increasing. People whocome from a broken home tend to struggle with anxiety, mental instability, and stress.These overwhelming emotions can lead to chronic depression. In addition, “mental healthdisorders (particularly depression and substance abuse) are associated with more than90% of all cases of suicide” (TWLOHA). Usually, one becomes depressed due tocircumstances in their past, and they tend to struggle with their current identity anddevelopment. Depression can lead to suicide because one feels disassociated with their
  • 2. community and the people surrounding them. In conclusion, awareness of suicide isimportant when trying to achieve prevention. First of all, “if one is not aware of the seriousness of depression and suicidalpersons, then it will be next to impossible for them to inspire others that hope is in sight”(Schellhase). In addition, an important vision includes the thought that, “community isessential, that people need other people, and that people were never meant to do lifealone” (TWLOHA). People cannot handle hardships by themselves; therefore, supportthrough rough times is necessary for everyone. Support can be shown through listening,availability, or even giving advice. Also, the community can be a part of raisingawareness by holding campaigns, fundraisers, or participating in missions outreach. Thefirst step in allowing people to become educated, on depression and suicide, is to getthem involved. The more people who come together and advocate the vision of reducingthe suicide rate, the quicker restoration can take place for those already affected bydepression. Furthermore, communal outreach is vitally important because, “communitycan help replace secrets and silence” (TWLOHA). Suicidal persons tend to keep a lot ofdark thoughts to themselves, and the people surrounding them need to be aware of theseriousness of these thoughts. When people come together for one cause, a lot can beaccomplished for helping others. All in all, informing the community about the severityof depression and suicide is the first step to recovery. Likewise, people should also be aware of the signs of depression. For example,popular signs of depression include self-harm and drug abuse. Self-harm embodies,“behaviors [like] cutting, burning, needle sticking, and severe scratching” (Salters).Morover, “experts estimate that 4% of the population struggle with self-injury”
  • 3. (TWLOHA). This is a serious issue found in those feeling lonely, fearful, empty, or evenpast abuse. In another instance, depressed people usually abuse, “drugs in the hope ofgaining some relief” (Mulholland). Drug abuse only allows the user to obtain temporaryenjoyment; after one comes down from a high the same worried feelings haunt will them.Self-mutilation and drug abuse both allow one to believe that there is no hope for a betterfuture; therefore, they continue to take part in these harmful actions. Nevertheless, self and drug abuse are not the only signs of depression. Alcoholabuse and eating disorders chiefly illuminate further signs of depression and suicidalthoughts. First of all, alcohol abuse tends to be a repetitive habit that many suffering withdepression become addicted to. Consumption of alcohol will allow the user to escapereality for a short period of time. Users will find pleasure for a short amount of time, and,“addicted individuals [will] suffer from severe disabling and disturbing physical andpsychological disorders when deprived of their usual fix” (Drug Abuse and Addiction).Also, eating disorders seem to be a growing problem among depressed people, teensespecially. Society has warped the meaning of beauty into a skinny figure, long hair, andtan skin. These qualities linger throughout young people’s minds thus leading them tobelieve false assumptions, and this causes youth to become insecure in their own body.Teenagers then feel the need to either not eat or vomit everything they do put down(Factors that may contribute to eating disorders). In conclusion, these growing issues canonly be brought to light if someone becomes aware that they are taking place. If one canidentify a person with a disorder, then that person can receive treatment as soon aspossible. Furthermore, help is available almost immediately to those suicidal or depressed,
  • 4. and, “research shows that those who seek professional help and therapy have a very goodchance of recovery, and finding relief from symptoms such as depression and anxiety aswell as others” (APA). First of all, psychiatric therapy exemplifies a common form ofhelp for depression. Visiting a psychiatrist is recommended when a person experiencesemotion like fear of death, irritation, and restlessness, “simultaneously for a period ofmore than two weeks and [interferes] with [their] daily routine life” (Depression- Whento consult a psychiatrist?). Psychiatrists are a great help because they provide the victimwith someone to vent to. On the other hand, suicide hotlines are also a form of help.Hotlines are available in every state, and a counselor is accessible for everyone seekingassistance. In some circumstances, people are directed to, “call 911 and ask for help.[And] tell them [they] are in suicidal danger” (Clark). In conclusion, help is readilyavailable to those in need. Another example of how to receive help includes a popular online, non-profitorganization called To Write Love On Her Arms. This organization has a vision to seelives changed and reach out to as many people as possible. The program all began in2004 with a girl name Reenee, and a guy named Jamie Tworkowski who wrote a blog onMyspace.com about Reenee. Jamie found Reenee on the streets, drugged out, bleeding,and begging for someone to leave her there to die. Reenee had been beaten, abused, andemotionally drained. Jamie knew Reenee was in desperate need of a rescue. Jamie tookReenee to receive help at a treatment center, but they would not take her because she hadopen wounds. Jamie then decided to allow Reenee into his own home where he clothedher, fed her, and treated her wounds. This was only the beginning to Reenee’s recoverystory. Reenee is currently twenty-four years old and has been sober for over seven years
  • 5. (Tworkowski). Essentially, TWLOHA raises money in communities around the worldwith the intentions to donate to treatment centers, victims themselves, and to researchregarding finding new ways to treat depression. Also, TWLOHA is a huge supporter ofhealing through music. They put together concerts to reach people around the world.These concerts usually consist of popular bands, that way more people will be inattendance and more people then become aware of the seriousness of suicide anddepression. All in all, TWLOHA is a growing organization found to be inspiring tomillions of people across the world. To conclude, depression and suicide are directly correlated. In order to helpachieve lowering the numbers of the suicide rate, the community must become aware ofthe seriousness. Also, people need to be aware of the signs that lead up to depression andother mental disorders. Finally, help is available to those suffering from depression orsuicidal thoughts. If community comes together for one cause, then lives can be saved.
  • 6. Works Cited“APA.” American Psychological Association. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Nov. 2011. <http://www.apa.org/>.Clark, Melody. Suicide Hotlines. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Nov. 2011. <http://suicidehotlines.com/‌index.html>.“Depression- When to consult a psychiatrist?” ARC Telediagnosis . N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Nov. 2011. <http://www.arctelediagnosis.com/‌articles.asp?sno=26>.“Drug Abuse and Addiction.” ARC Telediagnosis. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Nov. 2011. <http://www.arctelediagnosis.com/‌articles.asp?sno=10>.“Factors that may contribute to eating disorders.” National Eating Disorders. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Nov. 2011. <http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/‌information-resources/‌general- information.php#causes-eating-disorders>.Mulholland, Claran. “Drugs and Depression.” Netdoctor. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Nov. 2011. <http:// www.netdoctor.co.uk/‌diseases/‌depression/‌drugsanddepression_000487.htm>.Salters, Kristalyn. “Self Mutilation .” About.com. N.p., 25 July 2008. Web. 17 Nov. 2011. <http://bpd.about.com/‌od/‌understandingbpd/‌a/‌selfharm.htm>.Schellhase, Ashley. Weblog post. InhlaeLoveExhaleHate. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Nov. 2011. <www.weinhalelov3exhalehat3.tumblr.com>.“TWLOHA.” To Write Love On Her Arms. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Nov. 2011. <www.twloha.com/‌vision>.Tworkowski, Jamie. Weblog post. Reenee’s Story. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Nov. 2011. <http://www.myspace.com/‌jamiewrites>.