'You don't have to go through this alone:' Psychologist speaks on suicide prevention

HOUSTON (KIAH) – According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the 12th leading cause of death in the U.S. 

“If anybody is out there who is feeling depressed, or if they’re having thoughts of suicide, I think the most important thing to know is that you don’t have to go through this alone,” said Dr. Kenleigh McMinn, PhD, psychologist at Baylor Scott & White Health, speaking on suicide prevention after the tragic news of the death of Stephen “tWitch” Boss, DJ for the Ellen DeGeneres Show. It is reported that Boss died by suicide.

When Dr. McMinn sits down with someone who is suffering from depression or having suicidal thoughts, she reassures them this is not forever. She said depression is something that can be very treatable if that person is getting the right kind of help. 

“A lot of times people are nervous to disclose that they’re having thoughts of suicide, because they worry like, oh my gosh, that means that I’m going to be taken to the hospital, I’m going to be involuntarily committed somewhere,” said Dr. McMinn. “Very rarely does it actually go to the point of having to be involuntarily hospitalized or something to the extreme.”

Dr. McMinn advised the first thing you should do is find help. Talk to your primary care physician or other trusted medical provider. You should also search for a therapist.

Another suggestion she gave, finding tools and support on a trusted online website. The Trevor Project offers suicide prevention services for LGBTQ youth at 1-866-488-7386.

You can also call the National Suicide Hotline, which is not just for people who are feeling suicidal. It’s for anybody who is experiencing any kind of heightened emotional distress. 

Their number is simple: 988. You can also chat with someone online at 988lifeline.org.