Fraternity supports suicide prevention

Delta Tau Delta teamed up with the University Counseling Center to bring awareness of prevention and intervention of suicide after the loss of one of their brothers this past summer. 

The fraternity sponsored the program Tuesday, Oct. 28 at 5:30 p.m. in the Student Union Ballroom. UCC Assistant Director Tom Caffery and Counselor Paige Moody spoke on causes of depression, signs, how to intervene and more.

“This has touched my life, so I thought it might benefit me to learn some more,” said Angele Thibodaux, junior psychology major who attended the program. “There are so many people who don’t say what happens behind closed doors. They’re too scared to talk about it. And if you don’t know what to look for, you can’t help them.”

According to the presentation, suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in the United States, the third leading cause of death in those ages 15-24 and the leading cause of death in college students.

One contributing factor to suicide is depression. The transition into college can cause depression through stress and feeling lost or anxious.

Depression affects over 19 million Americans each year, showing the need for treatment. 

“Depression is like a big, huge boulder that just kind of sits on you and you can’t move,” said Moody.

Moody explains the overwhelming feeling of depression and desire to commit suicide as having a sort of tunnel vision where the person feels that their life is not worth living, ending life is all that matters and suicide is the only way out. 

If someone can get past this tunnel vision, suicide can be prevented.

There are many warning signs that someone may be suicidal. A few include a sudden change in behavior, withdrawing from friends, increased absences, change in physical appearance, a lack of purpose and preoccupied with the idea of dying or death.

As a friend, family member or acquaintance, there are things we can do to intervene. Caffery and Moody suggest voicing our concerns in private, advising them to the counseling center as well as the person’s family.

They explained that by asking someone if they are contemplating suicide, it will not plant the idea in their head, but may actually help.

While there are some things to do to help, there are also things to avoid. It was suggested to not assume the situation will take care of itself, not to leave the person alone, not to be sworn to secrecy, not to act shocked and not to argue or debate moral issues.

“Hopefully, we can get to them beforehand. That’s why we want talk about what are some of the signs [and] symptoms,” said Caffery. “Not just with suicide, but things like depression, stress and anxiety because that might give a clue that this person is struggling with something and hopefully we can get them help beforehand.”

The UCC can be reached at 985-549-3894 and the UPD can be reached at 985-549-2222. Both can be reached at any time.