This week is National Suicide Prevention Week, and now it is as important as ever to keep track of your own mental health and the mental health of those around you.
COVID-19 has been hard on a lot of people, and we at The Daily Eastern News urge all students and community members to look out for suicide risk factors and warning signs in themselves and others.
Suicide can never be predicted or completely prevented, but there are some risk factors that may make someone more likely to consider to suicide.
According to suicidepreventionlifeline.org, some risk factors include a family history of suicide, job loss, financial hardship or a lack of a support system. Other incidents, like a local cluster of suicides or exposure to others who have died by suicide can also be risk factors.
In addition to risk factors, there are some warning signs that may make it easier to tell if someone may be considering suicide.
Speaking about wanting to die, saying they feel hopeless or trapped, saying they feel like a burden to others and experiencing extreme mood swings can be signs that someone may be in emotional distress.
Just because someone is exhibiting these warning signs does not mean that they are considering suicide, but it is important to talk with people close to you so you can keep an eye out for these signs.
There are also resources people can seek out both on and off campus if they are having suicidal thoughts. The Eastern counseling clinic can provide assistance to students, and are available at eiu.edu/counsctr. Other resources can be found online as well.