Last month, 16-year-old Isaiah Lustre, the brother of actress Nadine Lustre, reportedly committed suicide by shooting himself with a gun. He was found dead inside their house.
Lustre’s case proves that depression can happen to anyone, regardless of age, gender, or social status. Everyone is prone to it, and at many times, it goes unnoticed.
His death, along with comedian Joey de Leon’s controversial remarks, once again sparked the discussion on mental health on social media. As a result, people are becoming more aware and the stigma against persons who are suffering from depression is gradually disappearing.
The rising number of depression cases among students in the Philippines has been very alarming. According to psychologist Dr. Jocelyn Nieva Yatco-Bautista, Filipino youth suffering from depression mostly experience suicidal tendencies, too. In addition, suicide has become the second leading cause of death among college students in the United States. Who knows when it will happen here? Thankfully, the recent passage of the Mental Health Act is a good step taken by the government in assuring that programs and services are easily accessible to the public.
Throughout our stay here in the university, we face a lot of pressure and problems: low grades, failed relationships, financial burdens, to name a few. While every one of us faces different battles, no one should feel that the only viable solution is to end his or her own life. Suicide is not and should never be an option for anyone.
If you are depressed or are having thoughts of hurting or killing yourself, find and talk to a trusted adult, friend, or minister. Or you may call or text the Silliman hotline (09177071901). Someone is always there, ready to listen to you.
Always keep in mind that life is so much more than our stay here in the university. Having said that, there is even much more to it than this present life. Your very existence is in itself a gift from God.
As long as there is life, there is hope. There always is. Keep going.
For information, help, and hope for depression and suicide, you may watch “Exit: The Appeal of Suicide” by going to http://www.theexitmovie.com.