Doerner, Jill, K
Sociology and Anthropology
Tavitian, Mark, L
Suicide; Suicide Prevention; Mental Health; Suicide in Media; Suicidology
Suicide is a caliginous topic that can be found in the headline of a magazine or in a passionate scene in a movie, but rarely is it discussed head-on due to a general discomfort and lack of knowledge. It is not a glamourous act of revenge or a testament of devotion, it is a final decision made by an individual that will, without a shadow of a doubt, intimately impact the lives of those around them as they long for answers to the questions that begin with “what if…”. The idea behind Speak Up, Reach Out is to provide members of a community with the knowledge needed to intervene in suicide completions while promoting camaraderie and unity in the pursuit to restore mental health. Through the analysis of mainstream movies, television shows, and music, in partnership with a consolidation of mental health articles from experts on suicidology, I have assembled a suicide education and prevention presentation targeted towards teenagers, young adults, parents and faculty members. The intent of this presentation is to clarify what suicide is and what it is not, dispense relevant statistics to debunk misconceptions about suicidal ideations, list warning signs and symptoms of suicidal activity, suggest proven prevention strategies, in addition to providing contact information to mental health resources for individuals, their students and their loved ones. It is essential that teens and young adults be aware that they are never alone regardless of where or who they are. In order to remind students and faculty at the University of Rhode Island of the resources available to them on campus for maintaining good mental health, this presentation has been added to the URI101 website as a tool for current and future generations to come.