A Step Back

A Topic With No Bounds

Can you believe it? It’s already October, filled with the smells of pumpkin spiced everything, spooky Halloween decorations awning every doorstep, and the sound of rustling red and orange leaves on trees. But October isn’t just a month with luscious smells and sights, it’s also a month full of awareness, mental health awareness. Not a while back, October 9th to October 15th was OCD Awareness Week and October 11th was World Mental Health Day. This month is filled up with many days that individuals can take the advantage to raise awareness about different topics in mental health. But September was too. It feels like ages since September, the month of when fall officially begins, but also the month of Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. We might be many days past September, but the topic of suicide is something that there is never enough time to talk about.

Suicide is the act of injuring oneself wanting death as an end result. In the United States, suicide is the third leading cause of death of young people between the ages of 15 and 24. While in Texas, it is the second leading cause of death for 15 to 19 year olds. Many teens die by suicide as those who die from all natural causes combined. A thought of such could be triggered by certain crises that an individual could have experienced. Experiences like the death of a loved one, divorce, loss of job, financial difficulties, different types of abuse, bullying, and discrimination. Although, sometimes suicidal thinking can be influenced by other mental health conditions the individual had pertaining to the experience or thought. Conditions like depression, bipolar disorder, alcoholism, schizophrenia, and stress disorders. Everything mentioned above could make individuals ponder about ending their life and in some sense “influence” such thinking, but if an individual was pondering about the idea, many give us clues before heading off.

According to Frisco Independent School District’s webpage, “Counseling Resources,” it states many different direct and indirect cues somebody who may be thinking about commiting suicide might portray. It also describes different verbal and behavioral cues as well. Some statements like, “I don’t want to live anymore,” or “I am going to commit suicide,” are of those that give example of direct cues. While statements like, “I want to go to sleep and never wake up,” “Soon it won’t matter anymore,” or “Life isn’t worth living,” show off indirect cues. They are also displaying examples of verbal cues. Behavioral cues, on the other hand, would not exactly signal suicidal thinking or depression, but if a few are present, it could be a cause for concern. Cues like changes in sleep habits, discouragement about the future, giving away prized possessions, taking unusual risks, and increased drug or alcohol use. But many aren’t able to recognize these warning signs. Why? Because from the perspectives of two students they think it’s because of the lack of education and the immersive joking involved.

“I feel like this is something we shouldn’t joke around about, because at some point there could be someone who could be seriously thinking about it. But, most people tend to ignore it and think of it as a joke,” states Anvitha Nagathan, a freshman at Frisco High School. She thinks that it is sometimes difficult to identify whether the individual is saying such things as a joke or in a serious manner. “Like whenever a person doesn’t do good on a math test or something doesn’t go as they would like in life they might say, ‘Dang, I wish I could just die and not retake the test or something.’ And during that time I know that they’re joking. But when these types of statements are made out of nowhere and with no context, how can I know for sure that this wasn’t a joke? ”

To stop suicidal feelings from occurring, medications can be taken, like antidepressants, but it isn’t encouraged. According to the Mind, “Suicidal Feelings”, it states that, “some research shows that young people under the age of 25 are more likely to experience suicidal feelings when taking these medications.” But, even if these medications aren’t recommended, something that is highly recommended to talk and reach out to your doctors. They can set you up with mental health professionals who are more experienced with the things the individual might be struggling with and they can guide them through the steps and phases. Although, it is also recommended to reach out to a trusted friend, family member, or another person you can feel safe talking to when easily overwhelmed or when the doctor is unavailable to respond to your needs. But even if the individual does get help, it’s still important this topic is raising awareness.

“Social media,” says Keerthana Tanguturi, a freshman at Frisco High School. Keerthana expresses that she spends a fair amount of her free time on social media and she sees that many petitions and causes of justice are shared by many people on these platforms. She feels as if awareness can be spread easily about suicide through these platforms. “Tell me the name of one teenager who isn’t on social media. It doesn’t have to be just Instagram, but it can be other platforms like SnapChat, TikTok, Youtube, Twitter, anything! Everyone is on at least one of these platforms and they have a great ability in sharing information, so putting your thoughts out on suicide and how to prevent it on these platforms would be one the best ways to educate the world.”

Before ending the conversation with Keerthana, she wanted to highlight an important tool for suicide prevention: resources. “My sister is in college and when I was looking at her ID card, I flipped it to the back and saw different emergency numbers and resources, one of which was a suicide hotline. I think this is a great way to bring light towards this topic, because it ensures everyone that helps is just a phone call away.” And Keerthana is right. It’s only been a bit before they changed the suicide hotline to 988 from a ten-digit number, so many people could keep the number in the back of their minds – like 911. Schools, like Frisco, have done an amazing job of sharing resources to their students so they can feel as if they can visit for help and trusted adults they could go for help. Without these resources, there is no way it would be possible for awareness to spread and help to be provided.

Suicide is something people like to call the “last resort,” but it is something that no one should ever take themselves to or should ponder about. Many people are working tirelessly, every day and night, to make sure no one’s life is lost to suicide by providing awareness and resources. Even people at our very own school, the counselors. They might be obligated to not share their own viewpoints and other external information about this topic other than the information found on the Frisco Independent School District’s webpage, but they work towards preventing this from happening too. We may never know how someone truly feels of who had pondered the idea of suicide or someone who had come close in committing it, although it is something that isn’t wished to be felt or thought of.

Anvitha Nagathan, a freshman at Frisco High School


Keerthana Tanguturi, a freshman at Frisco High School



The Suicide Hotline: Call or chat 988 OR chat 988lifeline.org


Works Cited

“Frisco ISD Guidance and Counseling Suicide Intervention.” Frisco ISD, https://www.friscoisd.org/departments/guidance-and-counseling/counseling-resources/suicide. Accessed 20 October 2022.

“What are suicidal feelings?” Mind, https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/suicidal-feelings/about-suicidal-feelings/. Accessed 20 October 2022.