Influx of on-campus suicide calls incites treatment
Published: Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Updated: Thursday, July 12, 2012 15:07
In light of a string of reported suicide attempts, Cal State Long Beach students may wish to know how they can prevent suicides on campus.
Between Oct. 11 and Nov. 22, University Police responded to four calls of a person on the verge of suicide. Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) and University Police reached out to the persons before an actual suicide took place, and found them further assistance.
CAPS is available on campus for everyone who needs to simply talk, no matter what the issue is or how big or small they feel it might be, said Brad Compliment, the director of CAPS.
"If it's bothering you, we're here to help," Compliment said.
One resource that CSULB provides is Project OCEAN (On Campus Emergency Assistance Network), which is specifically designed to teach people how to prevent suicide. Through Project OCEAN, CAPS has taught more than 600 students and faculty the "Question, Persuade, and Refer" method, which teaches you how to recognize the signs of suicide in order to save a life.
Those interested in becoming trained in the method are welcomed to take classes, Compliment said.
In addition, individuals who find themselves considering suicide or know someone who is, can reach out to several suicide hotlines, such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The lifeline's website said that these calls have someone: listen to the caller, attempt to understand their situation and try to get them to seek help.
Suicide hotlines, just like CAPS, are confidential and a great resource to turn to if you need to talk, Compliment said.
Lt. Scott Brown of the University Police Department said he had "no idea" why so many suicide scares have occurred in such a short period of time.
Compliment said there could be many reasons behind why so many suicides-related reports seem to be occurring lately, not only on the Cal State Long Beach campus, but also on several campuses across the country.
Recent suicide victims who were reportedly bullied in elementary school, high school and college could be a reflection of "the general situation in the nation," Compliment said.
According to Compliment, suicides take place because suicide victims are usually people who feel "emotionally trapped," not knowing what to do about their situation and know of no alternative.
In fact, he said 80 percent of people who attempt suicide have "never been in connection" with any type of counseling center to help them see an alternative, he added.
Compliment said that he doesn't think the number of suicides has increased, just the attention on them due to exposure in the media.
Compliment said, though, that what did increase is the amount of "students seeking help."
Whether it be on topics such as relationship issues, family issues or mental health, more students are using the resources the campus provides for psychological services, Compliment said.