Reaching out to help: Talk sheds light on suicide topic
Dispelling the myths about suicide and revealing how to help was shared when Meridian Community College hosted the presentation “Signs of Suicide: Perception vs. Reality."
"If we know the signs and have options, perhaps we can save a life," said Nedra Bradley, MCC executive director of Parent Services and Student Support, about this thought-provoking presentation led by Dr. Lagena Bradley, nationally certified counselor, and Felicia Jenkins, R.N., B.S.N, both who are with Alliance Health Center in Meridian.
Jenkins, who has worked in the medical arena for 20 years, challenged common misconceptions by pointing out that the image of someone suicidal is not always one of isolation, tears, or a solitary loner engaging in self-destructive behaviors. "Being suicidal doesn't always look that way," she said. "A lot of individuals who contemplate suicide may appear happy, healthy, and have seemingly perfect lives on the surface," Jenkins said.
Warning signs are not always obvious, the two mental health professionals noted.
They added there is hope. "There are those who, at some point, say, 'I just couldn't do it.' That little ounce of hope is like that little mustard seed. That's what we're looking for," said Dr. Bradley.
Dr. Bradley and Jenkins agreed it's better to be safe than sorry for those concerned for their loved ones or themselves. "Seek help. If you don't want to talk to someone locally, or you're scared and don't know what to do, there is a suicide hotline," they said.
The Suicide and Crisis Lifeline can be reached by calling or texting 988.
MCC partners with Psychology Associates and Weems to provide free mental health visits to its students, faculty, and staff. To learn more, contact MCC Parent Services & Student Support at 601.484.8674 or visit meridiancc.edu/resource.