The conversation needs to be louder

By The Beacon | November 18, 2015 10:15am

by Abigale Sherman |


It honestly breaks my heart that getting emails saying yet another UP student has lost their life to suicide has become almost routine.

There have been four suicides since I started at this school. That's a lot for a student body of less than 5,000. And in no way should we place blame on the school itself, but we should fault ourselves as members of this school and community for the culture of silence we have created. The stigma is skewed. We can’t treat mental illness like it isn't a thing. Whether it's suicide, depression, self-hate or eating disorders, general poor mental health is real and it's a problem. We can no longer sit back and do little to nothing to end the stigma and stop things like from this occurring. At least I can't.

Action needs to be taken. On the administration's end, I don't exactly know what that would entail, but I'm open to discussion. But it starts with us, the students, the backbone of this school. We need to make this the forefront of conversation. We need to create an environment among our peers where we all can feel like we can talk about any feelings of depression or mental health concerns. We need to be aware of the signs and how to take action. We need to not be afraid to reach out, either by approaching others if you see them struggling, or to talk to someone if you are the one drowning. Be there for one another. We all have worth, and we all deserve to see tomorrow.

I'm tired of the emails about death. I'm tired of the perpetual fear that it may be someone I know. I'm tired of this happening again and again and it being sugar coated or glossed over. This is a sensitive matter, but it's not a controversial one. This is at our school and on college campuses everywhere. And it's time we try to do something about this. It's time we make mental health a priority here and it's time we talk about it.

The conversation needs to be louder.


Abigale Sherman is a sophomore organizational communications major and can be reached at