Bethel Holds Discussion on Suicide Prevention


Dr. Joe Hames, a local health provider and a Bethel faculty member, was one of six panelists who discussed suicide and prevention methods at a discussion forum on Tuesday, Sept. 8, at Bethel. Looking on is panelist Lisa Morris, a suicide prevention advocate.

A discussion style forum on Tuesday, Sept. 8, gave students at Bethel University the opportunity to ask some very frank and honest questions about suicide and about how to prevent it. Students had pre-written and submitted questions that were then posed to a panel of individuals who have experience in counseling and in dealing with the topic of suicide.
     According to Heather Stone, a counselor at Bethel who coordinated the forum entitled “Perspectives on Suicide Prevention,” Bethel’s administration wants its students to recognize signs that might indicate that someone is considering suicide, and they want students to feel empowered to seek help on the troubled person’s behalf. Stone said the forum also provided a way for students to know that there are people who will help them work through what they are experiencing.
     Stone said that sadly around 1,100 college age students lose their lives to suicide each year.
     Panel members reminded students to take a mention of suicide seriously and to talk with the troubled person and to be a listener. The panel also said that as an advocate, students and friends can remind the troubled person that while they can’t experience what they are going through, they can walk through the troubled time with them. The panel, which was composed of a diverse group of individuals who brought different perspectives to the discussion, also shared about avenues for getting help and therapy for those who might be depressed and even considering suicide.
     “Perspectives on Suicide Prevention” was held in conjunction with National Suicide Prevention Week.