Special guest post from Abbie Levenson, Social Work Intern:

A little self-disclosure here, but I love The Oscars. It can be entertaining and satisfying to see deserving people be rewarded for their extraordinary talents in acting, directing and even costume design and sound editing. Although it has been about a week since the award ceremony, there is one Oscar acceptance speech that everybody is still talking about. Graham Moore, who won the Best Adapted Screenplay category for The Imitation Game, delivered an inspirational and heartfelt message to the people who are “different.”

Here is an excerpt from his speech:

“I tried to commit suicide at 16 and now I’m standing here,” he said. “I would like for this moment to be for that kid out there who feels like she doesn’t fit in anywhere. You do. Stay weird. Stay different, and then when it’s your turn and you are standing on this stage please pass the same message along.” To see the speech in its entirety, go to The Huffington Post.

Moore’s speech raises awareness of suicide, and it is important to know the signs of suicidal thinking. Here are some signs:

• Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself.

• Looking for a way to kill oneself, such as searching online or buying a gun.

• Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live.

• Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain.

• Talking about being a burden to others.

• Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs.

• Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly.

• Sleeping too little or too much.

• Withdrawn or feeling isolated.

• Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.

• Displaying extreme mood swings.

• Preoccupation with death.

• Loss of interest in things one cares about.

• Visiting or calling people to say goodbye.

• Making arrangements; setting one’s affairs in order.

• Giving things away, such as prized possessions.

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, you can call the UCC and make an appointment with a counselor. In case of an emergency, call 911 or head to the emergency room to prevent a suicide attempt or death. You can also call LUPD who can get you in touch with a counselor in the event of a crisis after-hours or on weekends. Remember to take thoughts or plans of suicide seriously, but know that help is available and that life can get better!

Here are some numbers you can call to receive help:

• The UCC: (504)-865-3838

• LUPD: (504)-865-3434

• The National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

• 911


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