World Suicide Prevention Day occurs on Sept. 10 and on that day, people took a few moments to remember those that they have lost to suicide.
Here at UNC Pembroke, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) provided luminaries for students to decorate with stickers, glitter glue, ribbons, and markers.
Once the luminaries were decorated, they were put outside, lit with candles and placed along the walkway for others to look at and read.
A luminary is a personal item of those effected by suicide and often include initials or names of someone dear with a message. Some messages are specific to commemorate someone, but others are general statements to discourage someone from committing suicide.
Messages varied between: “UNCP cares,” “you matter,” and the suicide hotline phone number.
One message came from the Audioslave’s song “The Last Remaining Light.” Sung by Chris Cornell, the message translated to a luminaire and said: “If you don’t think the sun will rise, stand alone and greet the night in the last remaining light.”
Cornell committed suicide in May.
Students gathered together to share the grief and understanding for how complicated and painful the situation can be.
It was an emotional time as more than one student could be seen tearing up at some of the messages as well as the number of bags lining the sidewalk. The comfort and care that students have for each other is evident by the embraces given to help console those in pain.
A widely believed myth is that those that talk about committing suicide rarely commit the act. The fact is two-thirds of the individuals that commit suicide talk about it with someone first.
This may be indirect by simply stating people would be “better off without” them or “maybe I won’t be around.”
These suicide threats should not be taken lightly or passed over because responding could save a life.
In 2015, 44,000 people committed suicide and 494,169 people visited a hospital for injuries due to self-harm. Suicide affects many people each year, and there is a constant fight against it.
Recent celebrity suicides, such as Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington, have induced more attention to this killer and more efforts have been publicized to help combat the notion that suicide is an escape.
Logic has drawn attention to the Suicide Hotline number in his new song, “1-800-273-8255.” This single has over 200 million streams on Spotify.
If any student has or knows someone who has thoughts of suicide, CAPS is open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.