SMC's Center for Wellness and Wellbeing Recognizes Suicide Prevention Month

Feeling disconnected from oneself may sound like an all too familiar sensation to some. In fact, according to the American College Health Association (ACHA), this detached state of mind relates to the notion of suicide, which has tripled its rate among college students since the 1950’s. This year, the hashtag #BETHE1TO has trended on online platforms such as Twitter, where those who have been or know someone affected by suicide can share their stories.

The Center for Wellness and Wellbeing at Santa Monica College (SMC) recognizes September’s Suicide Prevention Month by offering a robust schedule of workshops, special events, and trainings that cover suicide prevention as well as other mental health topics, such as anxiety, depression, mindfulness, relationships, and stress management.

Dr. Alison Brown, a psychologist, can be found at The Center of Wellbeing and passes on a message for those who can relate to this isolated feeling: “You are not alone.”

“We offer short-term individual counseling, crisis intervention, workshops and trainings, classroom presentations, mental health awareness events, and a 24/7 emotional support line for SMC students,” stated Dr. Brown.

Karina Fuller, M.D. fights to debunk common myths associated with suicide by educating the public on the subject matter through The National Alliance on Mental Illness’ (NAMI) website.

“Debunking the common myths associated with suicide can help society realize the importance of helping others seek treatment and show individuals the importance of addressing their mental health challenges,” Dr. Fuller states.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline specifies a list of possible indicators related to suicide. This includes someone on the verge of suicide actively talking about feeling trapped, being a burden, and wanting to kill themselves.

SMC will offer Mental Health First Aid training in October and November for students to train and develop skills needed to assist those in crisis. This includes those with suicidal and self-injury thoughts and behaviors to help either resolve the crisis or get connected with appropriate resources.

SMC will be offering a workshop entitled, “What to Do When a Friend is Suicidal” this December.

“Suicide is preventable.” Dr. Brown adds, “If your family member is ‘on the verge of suicide’ and the threat of suicide is imminent, please get immediate help for your loved one by calling the Department of Mental Health Access Line (800) 851-7771, calling 911, or going to the nearest emergency room.”