SUICIDE: The Dramatic Rise in Numbers

Depression has become more prevalent among the younger population, and with untreated depression often comes suicide. However, depression can be treated and suicide can be prevented.


What is Suicide? Where Does it Come From?

According to Merriam-Webster, Suicide is the act or an instance of taking one’s own life voluntarily and intentionally especially by a person of years of discretion and of sound mind. Suicide stems from depression which is a serious medical condition in which a person feels very sad, hopeless, and unimportant.

Theresa Perlman, WSU University Counselor at CAPS

People who battle depression are often unable to live in a normal way. Suicide is described as a serious public health problem that takes an enormous toll on families, friends, classmates, co-workers, and communities, as well as on our military personnel and veterans (AFSP).

Pamela Purifoy, Youth Service Worker at WHS

Uncovering the reason why an individual decided to kill themselves is complex and challenging. Research shows that 90% of people who die by suicide had a potentially treatable mental disorder at the time of their death—a disorder that often has gone unrecognized and untreated (AFSP).

Wayne State University sophmore, Marlecia Premise, has dealt with depression her whole life, and she has overcame multiple suicide attempts in the past. She says that many people feel like suicide is a form of escaping the difficulties people face in life.



According to SAVE-Suicide Awareness Voices of Education, depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide. Depression affects about 20-25% of all Americans ages 18+ in a given year. 80% -90% of people who seek help for depression are treated successfully using therapy and/or medication, but only half of Americans experiencing an episode of major depression receives treatment.

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US for all ages and suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death in the world for those aged 15-44 years. For teens ages 15 to 24, suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death, and it is also the 4th leading cause of death for adults ages 18-65 (SAVE).

According to AFSP, in 2013, 41,149 Americans committed suicide. Suicide accounted for 12.6 deaths for every 100,000 people nationwide, and suicide continues to claim more lives each year. SAVE explains that every day, approximately 105 Americans commit suicide, and there is one death by suicide in the US every 13 minutes. There is one suicide death for every estimated 25 suicide attempts.

Globally, over 800,000 people die by suicide every year. There is one suicide death in the world every 40 seconds. An estimated quarter million people each year become suicide survivors (SAVE).

Pamela Purifoy, Youth Service Worker at WHS

Marlecia Premise, sophmore at WSU

Theresa Perlman, WSU University Counselor at CAPS

Seeking Help

There are many resources for someone seeking help with depression.


For Wayne State University students, CAPS-Counseling and Psychological Services is one resource that can help someone who is feeling depressed and who is having thoughts of suicide. CAPS provides one on one counseling with individuals, and also group therapy to help those who are having thoughts of suicide.

Another good resource is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help someone who feels like they no longer have the desire to keep living. They can be reached by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255). “No matter what problems you are dealing with, we want to help you find a reason to keep living” (NSPL).

suicide help

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is another great resource for someone to gain more knowledge about suicide, and learn ways in which they can help someone feeling suicidal. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention helps with someone coping with the loss of someone to suicide, and also someone who is feeling suicidal themselves. Every year, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention organizes Out of the Darkness community walks, campus walks, and overnight walks across the U.S. to bring suicide out of the darkness and one day end Suicide altogether. The walks are in honor of all the lives that have been lost to suicide and for the families, friends, colleagues, and supporters of suicide victims.


Wayne State junior Megan Cory discusses her lost and her experience being a part of the AFSP’s Out of the Darkness walk.

If any teens are struggling with depression, Wolverine Human Services is another option for helping teens coping with depression. They will take children in who are dealing with abuse, neglect, and depression and mentor and care for them to help them overcome the problems that they are facing.


Things to Look For

Theresa Perlman, WSU University Counselor at CAPS

The most important thing to remember is that YOU ARE NOT ALONE.



“Understanding Suicide.” American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. 2015. Web. 29 Apr. 2015. <;.

“Save. Suicide Awareness Voices of Education.” SAVE. GlobalCloud, 2015. Web. 29 Apr. 2015. <;.

“Suicide.” Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster, 2015. Web. 29 Apr. 2015. <;.

“Depression.” Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster, 2015. Web. 29 Apr. 2015. <;.


What’s Virality? Reviewing the Process of Going Viral

What is the going viral process and what constitutes virality?

Nahon, Karine, and Jeff Hemsley. Going Viral. Cambridge: Polity Press. 2013. Print.

“Virality is a social information flow process where many people simultaneously forward a specific information item, over a short period of time, within their social networks, and where the message spreads beyond their own [social] networks to different, often distant networks, resulting in a sharp acceleration in the number of people who are exposed to the message.” (Nahon, Hemsley, 2013, p. 16)

The book Going Viral by Karine Nahon and Jeff Hemsley is an in-depth look at how media goes viral. By media I mean a post or a tweet on Twitter or Facebook, or even a video on YouTube. The book begins by breaking down virality and discussing what is meant by virality. Nahon and Hemsley discuss how virality is a complex process with multiple components and in the book they provide a theoretical model to help the reader understand how virality works and the effects that it can have on individuals, collectives, and institutions, and how it feeds back into and effects social systems.

Viral events are  a mechanism of reproduction and transformation of social structures.” (Nahon, Hemsley, 2013, p. 104)

There are many different components in virality and at times understanding the different aspects was very confusing. Each chapter of Going Viral focused on a different step or set of steps in the process of something going viral.

Chapter one opens by giving some examples of viral videos and tweets, such as Susan Boyle when she sang “I Dreamed a Dream” at her audition for Britain’s Got Talent, or how Keith Urbahn’s tweet about the assassination of Osama bin Laden went viral.

The book then moves on to talk about how gatekeepers, and strong or weak ties play a role in the process of something going viral. The book emphasizes the key conceptual elements of virality which is the human and social aspects of information sharing from one to another, the speed of spread, the reach in terms of the number of people exposed to the content, and the number in terms of the distance the information travels by bridging multiple networks.

One thing Nahon and Hemsley explains very well is that virality follows a sigmoid curve where at first “the growth within the network is relatively slow, but then it speeds up,” and then slows again.

One of the books strongest points is that it does a great job using diagrams and graphs to help emphasize the main points of virality. I also love how Going Viral uses  real life examples that help the reader relate to the going viral process.

My favorite example used is when they use PSY’s Gangnam Style to explain “virality’s role in reproduction and transformation of social structure.” I really liked this example because I love Korean culture and I can relate to how this video can be perceived in different ways depending on if you are an American who knows Korean culture, an American who doesn’t know Korean culture, or an actual Korean person who has lived in Korea. I feel like in many ways this song can be viewed as controversial or sexists and I liked how this example helped me better understand virality.

The weakest part of Going Viral is that there is a lot of repetition. After a while the book gets boring because of how often everything is repeated. I wish this book could have used more examples of virality instead of reusing the same one over and over again.

Overall though, Going Viral is a complex book, but it is well explained and once completed you completely understand the full process of virality.

Here are two more reviews of the book Going Viral

Are You Safe?

Posting Safely on Social Media


Are there safety or security issues to consider when posting on social networks?

The answer to this question is yes, there are many safety issues to consider when posting something online. According to SOCIAL NETWORKS AND THE NEWS: KEY ISSUES by Eric Carvin, he list some of the safety issues that people should pay attention to when posting things online. He talks about how no matter who you work for, or why you are posting, that you must be careful about what you post because it can put the person who you are talking about in danger. He says that before posting you must think about what possible issues could possibly arise from your tweet or post, or who you can potentially harm from your tweet or post. By carelessly uploading a tweet or by nonchalantly posting something on Facebook, a source or a fellow journalist could be hurt or put in danger and as a journalist you want to watch out for that. It is important not to post tweets that reveal someone’s location, especially if they are putting their life in danger by talking with you, or if it tells someones location during a war zone. He says when in doubt skip the tweet or post and I completely agree. I think that at times people give away too much information and people’s private business does not need to be all over the internet. Although Carvin discussed rules for giving away other people’s information, it is also important to remember not to post personal information about yourself as well. Stay Safe Online is a good site to go to for finding ways to stay safer online. I think all of these tips are important because we now live in a technological world where one post can change someone’s life, whether for the good or for the bad. You have to make sure to respect others online, but also remember to respect yourself because you can put you or your family in danger by posting or tweeting the wrong thing.