Jill Milem, MEd., LPC, Director of Counseling Services SFASU

Suicidality and the Question of Empathy


Suicide is one of our society’s final taboos, yet is the tenth most common cause of death in the US (compared to homicide, which ranks 17th) and the second leading cause of death of 15-24 year olds. Our suicide rate has risen during the past decade, yet, in part due to the shame and secrecy often imposed upon suicide, few people are aware of the scope of the problem or of the available means to address the problem. Additionally, some well-meaning religious approaches can even exacerbate the alienation a suicidal person feels and make seeking appropriate help less likely. Developing an understanding of the causes and expressions of suicidality, and receiving information about effective responses and resources readily available to address the issue, is key to addressing this poorly understood problem.