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A new warning on Suicide Prevention

This article originally was created by Focus on the Family.  (October 10, 2005)

A New Warning on Suicide Prevention
by Bill Wilson

Experts point to the first years of college as especially dangerous.

By Presidential Proclamation, this is Mental Health Awareness Week and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is drawing attention to young people who have recently left the “nest” and could be prone to thoughts of suicide. Dr. Morton Silverman of the Foundation for Suicide Prevention says that students, in their first college years, are most at risk for depression and suicide.

“Five million college students report that they felt suicidal in the last school year. And about 1 ½ percent or 200-or-so-thousand college students reported that they actually attempted suicide one or more times.”

Author Gale Griffith, the mother of a child who attempted suicide, says parents must watch for early signs of depression in new college students.

“Look at your kid to see if she or he is ready. And if he or she is struggling with depression at the time, is that child going to be able to overcome the stress and challenges that will be placed upon him.”

Lighthouse Network’s, Dr. Karl Benzio, advises there are interim steps that can be taken if the child doesn’t seem ready to leave home.

“For some people that’s a two year process. They go to a community college for maybe two years and build up some of those skills and maybe the second year maybe live on campus or live in an apartment to get at that transitional process. And that way the parents can sort of see how they do they handle these kinds of situations.”

Benzio says there’s always help available, and no one… parents or kids… should be embarrassed to seek help. Call toll free: 1-866-890-2273, if anyone you know someone… including yourself… thinking that suicide will cure anything.

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