University of Alabama Counseling Center Spreading Suicide Awareness

Counseling Center

By WVUA 23 News Reporter Karris Harmon

<a href=”https://www.who.int/mental_health/prevention/suicide/wspd/en/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>World Suicide Prevention Day</a> is this week and the <a href=”https://counseling.sa.ua.edu/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>University of Alabama Counseling Center</a> is spreading awareness and reminding college students help is available.

<a href=”https://counseling.sa.ua.edu/tide-against-suicide/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>Tide Against Suicide</a> focuses on suicide prevention around the Tuscaloosa community. According to the Counseling Center, it’s important for everyone to be supportive, open and observant.

Warning signs of depression and suicide include feelings of hopelessness, substance abuse, currently talking or thinking about suicide, experiencing recent loss, relationship problems and feeling trapped by ones circumstances.

Counseling Center Executive Director Dr. Greg Vander Wal said everyone should ensure they’re getting enough self care and support.

“So much of supporting each other does come through that in-person interaction and the opportunities for that are much less in this COVID-19 environment,”  Vander Wal said.

Take some time for yourself whether or not you think you need it, he said.

“This is a unique period in our history where we have to prioritize self care,” he said. “Taking care of ourselves, making sure we engage with our stress relief, making sure that we engage with our friends and our support systems. Making sure we take care of ourselves.”

If you or someone that you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or displaying suicidal behaviors, contact your primary care physician or dial 911 if it is an emergency.

The <a href=”https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>National Suicide Prevention Hotline</a> is available to assist anyone experiencing suicidal thoughts or behaviors at 800-273-8255.

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