Dealing with mental illness

Suicide numbers increase

Graphic by: Jordan Lodge | Production Manager

Someone commits suicide every 12 minutes in the United States, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. 

In 2015, 121 people committed suicide each day and for every one person who took their own life, 25 others attempted to do the same. That means that the daily amount of suicide attempts was about 3,025, totaling over 1.1 million annually. 

The suicide rate went up again in 2016, as it has every year for over a decade. This year will most likely not see a break in the upward trend. 

According to National Data on Campus Suicide and Depression, one out of every 12 college students makes a suicide plan and 1,100 college students commit suicide annually. As aforementioned, over 1.1 million people attempt suicide every year. That means about one in 300 people will or have attempted to take their own life. 

Ferris has about 14,000 students this year, so if the student population matches the national average for suicide attempts, about 46 students will attempt suicide this year. Statistics show that the majority of people with mental illnesses fail to seek out professional help. Only 41 percent of adults suffering from mental illness got treatment in 2016. 

One issue for many people is the cost of counseling and their insurance not covering any of the cost. According to Mental Health America, 21.3 percent of the residents in Michigan with mental illness were unable to get treatment because of the cost. 

However, Ferris’ counseling center is free to all students. Counseling topics include anxiety, depression, substance abuse and homesickness along with many other subjects, according to the counseling services page on Ferris’ website. 

Some students take fighting mental illness into their own hands, including one Ferris senior, who has struggled with anxiety and depression since coming to campus. 

“The main thing that makes me feel better is maintaining a sense of physical health,” the Ferris senior (who wished to remain anonymous) said. “The stronger I feel physically, the stronger I feel emotionally. That’s why I lift things more than I do cardio exercises now, because it makes me feel like a stronger person and that makes me feel a lot better.” 

The student also spoke about how to help overcome depression as a freshman. 

“I know the thing that helped me the most was forming a strong social circle and it helped me with studies, because I felt motivated when they were motivated,” the anonymous Ferris senior student said. 

Others turned to organizations on campus to cope with their experiences. 

“Being involved in a Greek organization has changed my life drastically,” marketing junior Jordan Johnigan said. “The confidence and knowledge I’ve gained from the support of my brothers is invaluable.” 

The on-campus counseling center is located in Birkam room 210 and is available to schedule counseling meetings Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. An Out of the Darkness Walk to fight suicide will take place on Sept. 23, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Northend Riverside Park.