Message From the Director

June 2018

While high-profile losses to suicide, such as the recent deaths of entrepreneur and designer Kate Spade and celebrity chef and author Anthony Bourdain, touch many, everyday people around our country and the world are grieving the loss of a family member, friend, or colleague to suicide. Sadly, too many people have thoughts of suicide and suffer from depression and other mental health problems—celebrities and everyday people alike.

According to new data from the Centers for Disease Control, the number of suicides is rising in the United States. The good news is that people are paying attention and talking about mental health now more than ever. Mental health issues are real, and suicide is preventable. Suicide demands our attention, as it speaks to the fact that there are people suffering who need help and hope.

Here are some actions you can take to help yourself or someone else:

  • If you are depressed or struggling in other ways, ask for help. Start by talking to someone you trust. If you are a UCSC student or concerned about a UCSC student in crisis, call CAPS at 831-459-2628. You can also text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741 for free crisis support, or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) for yourself or someone else.
  • Learn the warning signs for suicide so you can help a friend, family member, or yourself get help before it’s too late.
  • Ask someone you care about how they’re doing … and listen. You don’t have to be an expert to help--you just have to be there. Active Minds has some suggestions on how to support someone who is experiencing mental health issues.
  • Share resources with friends and help promote positive messaging on social media.
  • Volunteer! Donate! Support an organization that works to prevent, treat, or provide education around mental health issues.