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The Massive Problem With This 'Funny' Meme That Jokes About Suicide in College

I saw a Facebook page share a meme today that suggests suicide in college is a joke.

It’s not.

The meme said, “When you get given an extension on your deadline,” above an office sign that read, “Tonight: The suicide has been canceled. Please see box office for more information.”

To many, this seems like a harmless meme, a joke even; however to me and many others it is not. I have attempted suicide on two separate occasions, and I am diagnosed with many mental illnesses. This meme is offensive on so many levels.

According to the CDC, suicide was the 10th leading cause of death for all ages in 2013. That is not funny. There were 41,149 suicides in 2013 in the United States — a rate of 12.6 per 100,000 is equal to 113 suicides each day or one every 13 minutes. That is not funny.

As a college student, yes, it is a relief when you get an extension on your deadline. I know the feeling of dread you get when you missed a deadline. But getting a single extension for a deadline isn’t the “cure” to being suicidal. And it pisses me off that this meme insinuates it. If you feel like you need/want to hurt yourself in any way, please call a hotline, talk to a friend, or go to your university’s wellness center. Poking fun at suicide is not OK and not funny. Seeing memes like this definitely do not help with the stigma of mental illness.

Always remember: You are worth it, and you would be missed.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.
If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. 

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Thinkstock photo by Feverpitched