Panama City- According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students. It is for that reason faculty and students from Florida State University's Panama City campus and Gulf Coast Community College worked together to host a lecture on suicide prevention.
According to national statistics 9% of undergraduate students are dealing with serious thoughts of suicide. With a crowd of high school and college students, Wednesday night's lecture couldn't have been geared towards a better audience. Hundreds filled the seats of the FSU-PC Holley Center lecture hall to hear from Suzanne Ficquette who spoke about her personal experience with near-suicide.
Now a suicide interventionist and life coach, Ficquette struggled with suicidal thoughts and nearly killed herself twice during her 20 and 30's, while she was a high level executive at Coca-Cola and the mother of young children. She says often times suicidal individuals feel all alone. The goal of Wednesday night's event was to dispel that myth and to educate those who know a suicidal person.
If an individual is talking about taking their own life, she says take them seriously and make sure they get help. "Don't take it lightly, don't try to second guess if you suspect even for an instant if someone that you love and care about it considering suicide. It is a serious situation," said Ficquette.
"We saw the impact that this was having on our students if they fall into the 9% of college students considering suicide and we just didn't want them to become a statistic. Research shows these people feel alone. With one million people dealing with this every year, you are not alone," said Jonathan Anderson, an FSU recruiter and graduate student who played a key role in organizing the event.
If you or someone you know is suicidal, there are resources to help. The local 24 hour crisis and counseling hotline is 522-4485.