At Thursday’s Student Alliance meeting, the organization held a suicide prevention training session.
During the meeting the guest speaker Hilda Martinez-Gutierrez, adviser of the “be nice” club showed the members of the student organization a slideshow of what they need to know about suicide prevention and several tips on how to notice if someone needs help and how to help them. Martinez-Gutierrez showed students a video about the mental health continuum.
According to the American Association of Suicidology Statistics there are 44,139 Americans a year who commit suicide, which is one person every 12 minutes. There are also 1,104,825 annual attempts of suicide each year. In Kent County, 49.9 percent of people commit suicide by firearms, 26.7 percent by hanging or strangulation and 15.9 percent commit suicide by poisoning themselves.
“When it is important to talk about the feelings of hopelessness,” Martinez-Gutierrez said. “People think and I hear this all the time ‘well suicide it has to be depression, it has to be linked to that.’ but everyone who is depressed can feel suicidal and we have to be careful. We have to link suicide to hopelessness.”
Martinez-Gutierrez expressed that everyone has triggers that can lead to having a terrible day but by having a good coping system and a great support system people can overcome these obstacles and move on.
Each of the student organization member received a QPR booklet which stands for Question, Persuade and Refer. Question someone about suicide, persuade someone to get the help they need and lastly refer someone to the resources needed. In the booklet it explains ways to understanding suicide and what they can do to help other students who might be at risk.
Those who ever have suicidal thoughts or know someone who does can always call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800) 273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).
Students seeking help on campus can call the GRCC Counseling Center at (616)-234-4130 to schedule an appointment.. Those who need immediate care can visit the counseling center located in on the third floor of the Student Life Center. It is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.