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Wildcat Wellbeing

There is something special about the community we live in. If you have been keeping up with the past editorials published so far this year, it has been a trend tied into almost every message. However, it is true. This “village” we live in has its own unique culture and language, especially amongst the students.
College friends become family, in fact it’s quite possible you talk to your friends more than your parents at this point. It’s also possible that you may know your friends better than their parents do and when a friend is down or acting out of the ordinary, it may be more obvious to you than that friend’s parents or teacher.
As you may have read in our story on the front page, (regarding the program Kognito, UNH’s initiative to help prevent suicide), suicide is the second leading cause of death for people ages 15-24 for New Hampshire residents, according to the 2014 New Hampshire Suicide Prevention Annual Report. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, one person attempts suicide every 38 seconds in the United States.
Although there is no certain way to determine if a friend is contemplating suicide, there are signs and warnings to be aware of. For example, this can include a normally good student who starts ignoring multiple classes and assignments, sudden drug or alcohol abuse, or a clear withdrawal from regular social interactions. Other signs could include an abnormality in eating and weight or sleeping patterns.
If you Google “suicide in college” pages upon pages of articles regarding students attempting or successfully committing suicide because of the stress of college pop up.  The New York Times published a relatively well-known story in their Education Life section back in 2015 regarding students who had committed suicide entitled, “Suicide on Campus and the Pressure of Perfection.”
And we at The New Hampshire can verify that it is true, there is a huge pressure to succeed in and after college. However, as members of the community, we also know that it is important to remember that there are so many people to turn to and endless resources to utilize in a time of need. As a friend, student and Wildcat, it is important to become knowledgeable about signs of distress and collectively help prevent suicide.
We urge every student and faculty member to take part in the Kognito course. It does not take long to complete this interactive program and the knowledge it provides could save someone’s life. Over the past few years, UNH has had 2,651 students registered through the program. With an added three new programs, UNH has expanded the initiative to help students recognize signs of suicide in multiple situations.
Even beyond your four years spent at UNH, taking the Kognito course could be invaluable to your future. Regardless of whether or not you know someone contemplating suicide in college, knowing how to recognize the signs could make the difference in your future child, spouse or co-worker’s life down the road. As we’ve mentioned before, your time spent at this institution and the wealth of resources available to you at UNH are unique, Wildcat. Take advantage of them while you can.

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