On August 18, would-be sophomore Jessica Leigh Galinanes took her own life. Those who were close to her are grieving as they try to understand what happened.
“Her death is a mystery to us all,” Beth Schleusener, friend of Galinanes, said. “I have no idea what could lead someone to take their own life.”
Jessica had strong relationships in her short time here at Augustana. She was a valued member of the community and will be remembered for her good attitude and friendliness.
“Jess was a best friend to me. The short time that I knew her was full of laughter, silliness and lots of unattractive Snapchats,” Schleusener said. “She inspired me to have fun with everything I do.”
People lose loved ones to suicide every day. A recent study by the American Association of Suicidology showed that roughly 105 suicides happen per day in the United States. This translates to an annual suicide rate of 12.43 per every 100,000 people. In the same study, it was discovered that suicide is the tenth leading cause of death among Americans.
“The thing that makes this so hard is knowing that help is available,” Pastor Paul Rohde said. “Help can be found at every turn on this campus.”
According to the American Association of Suicidology, depression is clinical and there are those who can help with that but suicide is never the final solution.
One reason for the high suicide rate among young adults is because they haven’t lived long enough to know that things do get better and life always moves on.
“As a Christian community, we must come together during a time like this,” said Pastor Paul Rohde. “We worship, pray, listen to each other and accept one another. By conviction, we know that every life is a gift from God and we continue to live that conviction.”