After an increase in reported suicides and bullying of lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and questioning youth, LGBTQ organizations at Cal State Long Beach, like Queer Ink and Queer-Straight Alliance, informed students on available resources.
Many newspapers recently reported on Rutgers University freshman Tyler Clementi, who killed himself after his roommate broadcasted a video of him having sex with another man on the Internet.
Matt Cabrera, coordinator of Student Life and Development on campus, said, “Things like this are tragic and could have been avoided.”
Project OCEAN, an emergency assistance network, is a campus resource focused on preventing students from committing suicide. Its goal is to strengthen and provide services that make students in danger of committing suicide feel comfortable in the university environment. Project OCEAN targets different demographics across campus, from LGBTQ to students with psychological disabilities.
The LGBT Resource Center provides counseling and takes walk-in appointments from Monday to Friday.
An LGBT support group meets every Tuesday in Brotman Hall, room 226, from 3:30 to 5 p.m.
Another on-campus advisory is the LGBT Task Force. According to Dr. Kirstyn Chun, chair of the LGBT Task Force, CSULB staff and faculty created the program in an effort to promote the success of LGBT students, staff, faculty, administrators and other individuals. The goal is to diversify and uphold a global engagement by partnering with CSULB cultural groups and organizations.
“All of us at the university are responsible for ensuring the safety and full acceptance of our LGBT students, so they can pursue their academic and career goals free of worry and harm,” Chun said.
Still, some students said they never hear about harassments or suicidal thoughts from friends. Usually when they find out about it, it’s too late.
Rachelle Ang, coordinator of Project OCEAN, said, “If they are withdrawing from friends and family and making some statements of hopelessness, that’s a big [sign].”
According to psychcentral.com, most people aren’t aware of the common signs that indicate whether an individual is considering suicide.
Sometimes the signs are verbal. They may say things like “Life isn’t worth living,” “My friends and family would be better off without me,” or “Don’t worry; I won’t be around much longer,” the website said.
In other instances, the person’s actions are revealing. They may give away prized possessions, pay off debts or draw up wills. One of the biggest signs is purchasing a weapon.
If you or anyone you know is considering suicide or dealing with depression, there is a national suicide hotline called The Trevor Project that can be reached at 1-800-4-U-TREVOR. The Trevor Project is a completely confidential, 24-hour, toll-free hotline for gay and questioning youth.