World Suicide Prevention Day at SCC informs attendees with facts while dispelling some myths


Jason White/Northeast Valley News Staff Photographer

Attendees at Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society-Sponsored SCC event

Abduraafi Andrian, Reporter

Each year, according to the National Alliance on Mental Health, more than 41,000 individuals die by suicide.

September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day—Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society at Scottsdale Community College recognized “Suicide Awareness Day” on September 13 with an informational presentation on campus.

The highlight of the event was a session hosted by Celeste Spane, a licensed professional counselor with 38 years of experience in social services, mental health, family court, counseling, and clinical supervision fields.

Spane distributed a yellow bold and large handout titled, “The Deadly Myths” to all those in attendance and explained 13 points—or myths about suicide and detailed whether each was incorrect or correct.

One myth that people often hear is that when someone is talking about suicide, the individual is just looking for attention. And some might suggest that ignoring him or her is the best thing to do.

Spane responded and offered her insight and advise with regard to giving the person attention.

“Ignoring her (him) is rarely the best thing to do,” Spane said.

Another myth was that nothing could have stopped an individual once they decided to kill themselves, but Spane detailed that most individuals want intervention and do not want to kill themselves.

“They want to be stopped. They are not really wanting to commit suicide. They are wanting to stop the distress that they’re in,” Spane said.

Some stark and insightful videos were shared that conveyed people who attempted suicide at the Golden Gate Bridge— the second most popular location to commit suicide in the world—and survived.

“It was not their goal to die,” Spane said. “It was their goal to stop their pain. And if people can be shown a way that their pain can stop without having to commit suicide— then that’s the way we really wanna go.”

One SCC student who attended the session told that suicide affects everyone’s life—no matter who you are.

Ramona Santiesteban attended the session as a Strategies for College Success adviser, a class that teaches and helps guide students to be successful in college.

“I think it’s important for students to know that if they are depressed and they are struggling, that they can get help,” Santiesteban said.

World Suicide Prevention Day is celebrated annually and is hosted by the International Association for Suicide Prevention.

The working theme for the 2018 World Prevention Suicide Day is “Working Together to Prevent Suicide” and the site offers a lot of information about suicide, about myths, about warning signs, and support activities. They also offer intervention crisis as well as contact information across the globe highlighting #WorldSuicidePreventionDay