Lily of the Valley

Let's put religion and politics aside because too many people are taking their own lives. According to 2013 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every 13 minutes someone completed the act of suicide. Yet no one talks about it — it’s a “shameful” subject.

Before I knew someone who attempted suicide, I did not understand just how hard it is to “save” someone from themselves. You want to help the person because losing someone you love can hurt for a lifetime. When someone’s only viable option is to end it all, you want to understand why. You don’t judge because losing someone to suicide seems harder than any other loss.

Taking a Wayne State course, PSY 6995: Advanced Special Topics, on a subject matter that would hit close to home was a risk, but it was something I had to do. How could I try to work in a profession where this subject would come up and not know if I could handle it?

On the last day of September 2015, I have decided to take you along a weekly column discussing suicide and other mental health concerns. While September is National Suicide Prevention Month, this subject is not just important during this month.

For additional resources, please contact WSU’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS).

Upcoming posts

Oct. 7: Talking about suicide/becoming vulnerable

Oct. 14: Who commits suicide?

Oct. 23: Problems with seeking treatment

Oct. 30: Healing after the loss of a loved one

Breaking point

A poem by Susan Woods

Deciding to not care — what other people say or what they might think.

Knowing that you have to speak.

Choosing to go forward even if it means you cannot hide.

This is what it takes to save people's lives.

Those who have survived know what it takes.

To get out of bed and breathe another day.

To those who don't know, simply ask...

"What can I do to help?"

Stand for your beliefs, don't run and shy away from what makes you unique.

Don't slowly peel the bandage off, rip it off and follow your dreams.

It's okay if you get hurt along the way.

Just remember the pain cannot heal, if you never give it a chance.

If you agree that mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of...

Stand up and fight the stigma.

In "Lily of the Valley", columnist Susan Woods delivers commentary on mental health concerns, while offering ways to combat the issues at hand. Woods is a senior journalism and psychology major at WSU, and also is the president and co-founder of the African American Psychology Student Organization, which provides a platform for psychological issues to be discussed.

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