Student Voice


November 30, 2023




Suicide misfortune disrupts spring break

March 23, 2007

Over spring break, I experienced a tragedy.

A woman who I have worked with for five years suffered the agony of her only child committing suicide.

At the age of 24, this young woman left behind a 2-yearold daughter, grieving parents and endless questions.

After I was told that she had taken her own life, I was flooded with emotions. The strongest of these was that of sadness for her parents and her daughter. These parents supported and loved their only child so much so that I always thought she was lucky to have such unconditional love.

When I saw her mother and father the day after she died, my initial shock wore off immediately.

I will never forget the looks of utter despair and loss on their faces or the feeling of her inconsolable mother unable to let me go as I hugged her because she was crying so hard.

The reason I am telling this story is to raise awareness about depression and suicide.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), major depression affects 15 million or five to eight percent of American adults.

For anyone who is depressed, you are not alone - no matter what. Talk to someone about your feelings. With the support of friends and family, do whatever it takes to get the help you need. Regardless of the stereotype saying depression is something people should just deal with and get over; it is a real mental illness and one that requires actual help.

Just as one cannot recover from a severe injury without rehabilitation and therapy, one cannot simply beat severe depression. It takes time and help in whatever form one may be comfortable with, whether it be medication, counseling or homeopathic methods.

At UW-River Falls, counseling is offered through student health services. If one is unsure about whether or not they need counseling, student health services also provides online surveys where one can check to see if they qualify for help with problems such as bipolar disorder or alcoholism.

As someone who is witnessing firsthand how suicide affects those family members left behind, I urge anyone who suffers from depression to get the help they need.

Nothing is worth taking your own life. If my coworker’s daughter was still alive, I am sure her parents would tell her this same thing.