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Summer is just a few short weeks away (unless you live in Florida like me, in which case it has been summer for the past two months!), which means warm weather, vacations, and a slightly lower work load (hopefully). So you can spend more time lounging on the beach, and less time digging up content marketing tips, I rounded up some of the top content marketing blog post published in the last month.
This month’s round-up includes how to create a free content calendar, how to create content on a tight budget, and lessons from the worst performing blog titles on the web.
Editor’s note: This list is completly subjective and listed in no particular order.17 Content Marketing Tips for Any Size Budget by Michael Brenner
When you have all the budget in the world, creating awesome content is pretty easy. But, since most of us don’t live in that fantasy world, we need to know how to create great content on a smaller budget. Michael’s article on Content Marketing Institute offers 17 actionable tips on how to hack the world of content marketing.
My favorites from his list:
Create a list of your favorite resources
Ask your sales people what questions they get asked the most
Turn videos in to blog posts (or vice versa)Why Ambitious Content Is the Only Content That Matters by Ryan Galloway
“But that is the way we’ve always done it!”
“But our competitor doesn’t do that.”
My favorite quote from the article really hit home:
In short, if you’re publishing unambitious content, you’re throwing your money away. There’s no ROI for being just another voice in a crowd.Copywriting Lessons From BuzzFeed’s Worst Headlines [New Data] Andrea Lehr
Some of the stats I found most intriguing:
Without Facebook, 8 of the 10 lowest-performing headlines earned nearly 90% fewer shares.
The lowest performing headline type is “Community Post”.
A great headline has the potential to increase traffic by 500%Content Marketing is Hard – 7 Lessons Learned by Mike Huber
A few of my favorite lessons:
Published does not mean perfect
Content marketing requires time
You need buy-in from the rest of the companyHow to Build a Content Calendar Using Google Docs by Larry Madill
Newsflash – to be successful in content marketing, you need an editorial calendar. Really. It will help you stay organized and make sure you publish consistently – which is the biggest struggle for most of us. But needing an editorial calendar and having the budget to buy fancy tools are two very, very different things.The Takeaway
Featured Image: Created By SEJ
Image 1: Shutterstock
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Eurocom Panther 2.0 Mobile Gaming Station Launching Later This Month
When we see laptops now-a-days, the general rule of thumb is that thinner is better. But, when you want a small bit of mobility with your gaming rig, that thinness gets dropped out the window. After all, if you want the same guts that go into a desktop, shoved into a frame like a laptop, you can’t expect every miracle to be granted. In the case of Eurocom’s Panter 2.0 mobile gaming station, just from the looks of it you’re obviously getting quite the powerhouse.
The display is 17.3-inches, for the record. But, you have plenty of options to choose from here. You can go with the GTX 480M Fermi GPU, or with NVIDIA’s Quadro 5000M. You can even ratchet up the CPU speeds all the way up to 3.33GHz (or more, if you really need to), thanks to the Intel Core i7-980X CPU. And, you need RAM, right? How does upwards of 24GB sound to you? Because you can make that happen, too.
If that doesn’t sound good to you, and you’re more of a fan of ATI’s way of doing things, you can choose Mobility Radeon HD 5870 GPUs. The press release is ridiculously informative, so take a gander at that below for the full detail breakdown. However, there’s no word on pricing, but we’ll go ahead and assume that this is going to cost a bit more than a pretty penny.
Eurocom launches Panther 2.0 – the World’s First Notebook with NVIDIA’s SLI GeForce GTX 480M Fermi and ATi CrossFireX Radeon Mobility HD5870, 6-core Intel i7 980X Extreme and Xeon Processors, 3TB of storage with RAID 0,1,5, 10 for On-the-Go Workstation, Gaming or Server use.
Eurocom, the world’s leading developer of highly personalized, high-performance notebook PCs and energy efficient All-in-One PCs, introduced the EUROCOM Panther 2.0 super notebook for Gaming, Workstation or Server use powered by NVIDIA SLI Fermi GPUs and Intel’s line of 6-core i7-980x and Xeon 5600 series LGA1366 processors.
EUROCOM Panther 2.0 provides workstation and server-calibre capabilities with up to 3TB (Terabytes!) of storage with four internal physical hard drives and RAID 0/1/5/10, super-powerful 3.33 GHz Intel Core i7 Processor Extreme Edition i7-980X; or 3.33 GHz XEON X5680 processors running at 6.4GT/sec bus speed, Gigabit Ethernet port on-board (quad port optional), HDMI in and out ports, eSATA, DVi ports, with a 17.3″ Full HD 1920×1080 LED backlit display and full size keyboard.
Featuring workstation-class or server-class Intel Core i7 Extreme or Xeon Processor and up to 24GB of DDR3-1600 memory, the EUROCOM Panther 2.0 also features the largest storage capacity on the market today – a whopping 3 TB with RAID 0/1/5/10 with four physical hard drives – making it the perfect mobile workstation or server laptop for users who demand extra-large capacity storage and reliability for a true portable server / workstation experience.
EUROCOM Panther 2.0 supports most of 64-bit operating systems available on the market from Microsoft Windows 7 or Server 2008 up to Red Hat; VMware or Solaris.
– 17.3-inch Full HD; 1920-by-1080 pixels; LED Backlit; Glossy Surface
– Upgradeable Processor: Intel i7-980X Extreme or Xeon 5500/5600; 4 and 6-cores; LGA1366; 32nm technology; 65W-130W
– Supports Intel’s XTU (eXtreme Tuning Utility) and XMP (eXtreme Memory Profile) functions
– Upgradeable Graphics: MXM 3.0b; up to 100W per card; supports both single or dual GPU operation, and both CrossfireX and SLI; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480M (Fermi); Quadro FX 2800M/FX 3800M/FX 5000M; ATi Radeon Mobility HD5870
– Storage: up to 4 physical drives (mechanical or SSD); RAID 0/1/5/10; over 3TB of storage
– Optical Drive: Choice of DVD Burner, Blu Ray Reader for Blu Ray Burner
– Card Reader: MS/MS Pro/MS Duo/SD/Mini-SD/SDHC/SDXC compatible/MMC/RSMMC
– Built in TouchPad with multi-gesture and scrolling function
– Five instant buttons: Volume Up/Down, Mute, WiFi On/Off, Bluetooth On/Off
– Sound System: High Definition Audio, S/PDIF output; Microphone; 5 speakers; subwoofer; Dolby Home Theater
– Ports: 2x USB 3.0; 3x USB 2.0; HDMI-in 1.4; HDMI-out; DVI-DL; eSata; IEEE1394b; S/PDIF; Headphone; Microphone; Audio Line-in; RJ-45; CATV-in
– Power: Auto Switching 300 Watts AC Adapter 100-240V; DC 20V 15A; Smart Li-Ion Battery 88.8WH; Battery time approx 1 hour
– Dimensions: WxDxH 419x286x56.5-60.7mm/16.76×11.44×2.26-2.43inch
– Weight: 5.3kg/11.66lbs including battery and ODD
Driving the system is the 6-core Intel 3.33GHz Extreme Edition i7-980X processor with bus speeds of up to 6.4GT/sec and 8MB of L3 cache, which delivers exceptional multi-tasking and multi-threaded performance. It also supports the newest line of Intel Core i7 Xeon 6-cores processors X5600 series.
The following Processors are supported:
– 3.33 GHz i7-980X Intel Core i7 Extreme; 6-cores; 8MB L3; 6.4GT/s; LGA1366; 32nm; 130W
– 2.66 GHz Intel Xeon X5650 Processor; 6-cores; 12MB L3; 6.4GT/s; LGA1366; 32nm; 95W
– 2.80 GHz Intel Xeon X5660 Processor; 6-cores; 12MB L3; 6.4GT/s; LGA1366; 32nm; 95W
– 2.93 GHz Intel Xeon X5670 Processor; 6-cores; 12MB L3; 6.4GT/s; LGA1366; 32nm; 95W
– 3.33 GHz Intel Xeon Processor X5680; 6-cores; 12MB L3 cache; 6.4GT/s; QPI=2; LGA1366; 32nm; 130W
– 3.33 GHz Intel Xeon Processor W3680; 6-cores; 12MB L3; 6.4GT/s; QPI=1; LGA1366; 32nm; 130W
The EUROCOM Panther 2.0, which measures 15.8″ x 11.9″ x 2.05″ and weights under 12lbs, also supplies tremendous SATA-300 storage (up to 3TB using four drives). Customers may also choose between RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5 and RAID 10 for the ultimate transfer rates and application load times or redundancy.
“It’s a server or workstation-calibre computer complete with built-in Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) in a 12 pound notebook form factor,” said Mark Bialic, President of Eurocom. “This is one extremely fast notebook that offers server or workstation calibre capabilities. It is designed to replace traditional desktop based workstations. It offers incredibly high ROI by allowing companies to be more productive and offer new “on the go” CAD/CAM services while greatly reducing overall IT management costs”.
EUROCOM WORKSTATION-CLASS NOTEBOOKS
Mobile Workstation is a new category of workstation-class notebooks designed to replace a desktop-based workstation for a professional user. With unrivalled power, unsurpassed features and portability, the Mobile Workstation is the ultimate evolution of the Desktop Replacement notebook.
With the release of mobile workstations, Eurocom has taken the next step in the evolution of the desktop replacement by combining workstation like features, power and flexibility with desktop replacement technology.
Mobile Workstation is the most powerful notebook on the market. Featuring the most innovative computer technologies; they are engineered for the highest quality, best performance, long-term stability and serviceability. As a single computing solution, mobile workstation provides a perfect alternative to a traditional workstation class desktop computer system.
EUROCOM mobile workstations are designed specifically for high-end professional and graphics users demanding maximum performance and power when running professional applications such as CAD/CAM/CAE, 3D animation, 3D simulation, engineering, financial simulations, math, forensic, 3D imaging, mapping and charting, satellite image processing, GIS, or medical software, or graphics work.
Key Benefits of Mobile Workstations
– Reduced IT Management costs (one piece of equipment to move around)
– Improved Productivity (anytime, anywhere)
– Increased Revenue Growth (allows introduction of new services, i.e. CAD/CAM/CAE consulting/training on-the-go)
– Improved reliability of data (internal battery = built-in UPS)
– Reduced equipment cost (single computer solution)
– Reduced litigation costs due to intellectual properties rights (out-of-the office consulting)
Specific Vertical Markets:
– Aerospace (CAM/CAE/CAD)
– Education (Departments of Architecture, Engineering, Geography, Animation, Video Production; GIS)
– Financial sector
– Forensic (i.e. FBI Criminal Labs)
– Governments (Department of Fisheries and Oceans; Army; Navy; Public Works/Engineering; GIS)
– Military (Mapping, Charting, Imaging, Navigation)
– Medical (Imaging)
– Software Development (Databases, CRM, Operating)
– High-performance Processors: Intel Core i7 Extreme Edition or XEON processors
– 64-bit hardware and multiple operating systems support (Windows Pro 64, Vista64, Server2008, Red Hat)
– 24 GB of high performance memory,
– up to 3TB of storage with multiple high performance SATA-300 hard drives
– RAID 0/1/5/10 for extra performance, data redundancy or automatic backups
– High performance VGA graphics including NVIDIA’s SLI GTX 480M, Quadro FX 3800M and FX 5000M or ATi’s CrossfireX HD5870
– Up to 4GB of video and the fastest graphics SLI
– Large displays (17.3″ or 18.4″) in a portable form factor
– Blu Ray and DVD Burning-on the-Go
– High Performance 1 Gigabit LAN on-board and support for 2nd 1Gigabit LAN interface
– 102-key desktop-like full size keyboards with separate numeric keypad
– Multiple I/O Ports: USB 2.0/3.0 ports, FireWire ports, HDMI in/out ports; DVI Dual Link ports for multiple external monitors, S-Video In ports for digital video cameras, media card readers, Optical digital and analog audio I/O, built-in microphone and stereo speakers
– Excellent Wireless: internal up to 450Mbps WLAN 802.11a/b/g/n and Bluetooth 2.0
– Internal battery allows uninterrupted operation in case of power failure.
– Excellent Surround Sound System with SRS WOW technology
– Optional internal TV Tuner for Digital and/or Analog Video Input
EUROCOM MOBILE SERVER NOTEBOOK TECHNOLOGY
Mobile Server is a new category of notebooks designed with a professional user in mind. Software and/or database developers, training centers, military personnel, emergency relief organizations and service organizations who must frequently travel, yet need access to powerful computing, are the core target for Mobile Servers.
With unrivaled power, unsurpassed features and unmatched style, the Mobile Servers are the ultimate extension of the Eurocom Mobile Workstation notebook technology.
With the release of mobile servers, Eurocom has taken the next step in the evolution of the desktop replacement and workstation by combining server like features, power, reliability and flexibility with desktop replacement technology. Mobile Server is the most powerful notebook on the market. It is engineered for the highest quality, best performance, long-term stability and latest computing technology.
– High-performance upgradeable 64-bit 4-and 6-core Intel XEON processors
– Fully 64-bit compliant hardware
– 24 GB or more of high performance memory,
– Large capacity, high performance, redundant storage with RAID 0/1/5/10, four physical hard drives and up to 3TB of storage
– On-Board 1Gigabit Ethernet; 2nd NIC (Fiber, Quad) available via ExpressCard slot or Expansion Box
– Internal 17.3-inch LED backlit display
– Internal built-in battery; 1 hour of battery backup in case of power failure
– High capacity optical Re-writable Blu Ray drive storage, perfect data backup
– Long lifespan
– Built-in 102-key desktop-like full size keyboard with separate numeric keypad
– Multiple I/O Ports: 1Gigabit Ethernet LAN; 4 USB 2.0, FireWire, serial and parallel ports, CRT and DVI-D for 2 external displays. Optional 2nd Gigabit Ethernet is available via PC Express slot.
– Wireless: Built-in WLAN 802.11a/g/n and Bluetooth 2.0
Full Upgradeability and Full Customization EUROCOM mobile workstations and servers are built on a customized basis so that users can select the individual configurations they require. EUROCOM systems offer stylish all-in-one design, superb performance, upgradeability and the latest computing technology. All EUROCOM mobile servers are fully upgradeable including Hard Drive(s), memory, optical drives, processors and graphics to prolong their lifespan.
The company has produced many firsts, such as manufacturing the world’s first notebook with a 3.5-inch desktop hard drive, 102-keys full-size keyboard, upgradeable notebook VGA technology, integrating RAID 0,1,5, 10 technologies into the notebook or incorporating desktop processors into a notebook designs. .
Intel, NVIDIA and ATi are trademarks or registered trademarks of Intel Corporation, Nvidia Corporation and AMD respectively in the United States and/or other jurisdictions.
The Windows 10 May 2023 Update has a bizarre USB problem
Microsoft has an unexpected warning to those looking to upgrade Windows 10 to the latest version: no removable devices or storage allowed. The software behemoth has cautioned PC fans that the May 2023 Update, expected to be released in short order, won’t play nice with things like USB drives.
The Windows 10 May 2023 Update is one of the more eagerly-anticipated upgrades for Microsoft’s OS. It’s set to address some of the biggest annoyances of the platform, such as Windows deciding it knows best when to upgrade – and meaning you have to take an impromptu break when that happens.
Instead, users will be able to pause both feature and monthly updates. A pause will last seven days, and then users will be able to renew that for up to five times. After 35 days, though, that’s your lot: you’ll have to update before you can pause again.
Unfortunately while Microsoft may be addressing one update headache, it’s also running into a new one. According to a new support document, the May 2023 Update won’t install if you have an external USB device or SD memory card attached to your PC at the time. That, Microsoft says, is down to how drives are reassigned.
“Inappropriate drive reassignment can occur on eligible computers that have an external USB device or SD memory card attached during the installation of the May 2023 update,” Microsoft explains. “For this reason, these computers are currently blocked from receiving the May 2023 Update.”
For example, if you had a USB drive plugged into a port while you installed the May 2023 Update, that drive might be mapped to “G:” to begin with. After the update, however, it could have its mapping changed, to “H:” or something else. As a result, Microsoft has opted to block the update altogether.
What’s likely to cause confusion, however, is Microsoft’s error message. Although this new support document is clear about the issue the May 2023 Update faces when removable storage is present, the dialog the company warns users to expect isn’t. Instead, all it says amounts to “This PC can’t upgraded to Windows 10,” and suggests that there’s “hardware that isn’t ready for this version” of the OS.
The workaround is fairly straightforward: unplug any USB drives or other devices, and take out any SD cards. Slightly ominously, though, that still might not leave you entirely safe from the May 2023 Update error. “The drive reassignment is not limited to removable drives,” Microsoft warns. “Internal hard drives can also be affected.”
The good news is that Microsoft is working on a fix. The bad, however, is that it won’t be ready until “a future servicing update” for the OS. If you’re a Windows Insider, Microsoft says you can expect a fix from build 18877 on.
Ironically, one of the upcoming changes to Windows 10 address USB devices specifically – or, more accurately, when you’re okay to unplug them. Rather than having to first eject the drive and wait for the “it’s safe to remove” message, the OS will allow you to unplug with a Quick Removal mode without ill-effect on data.
This week’s Ask An SEO question comes from Renee in Iowa, who writes:
“I read somewhere that you should submit your sitemap every month. When you provide an XML URL, isn’t it just that – a URL and therefore updates are always in place?
I’m using RankMath which generates my XML file. It didn’t seem like I was uploading a file to Google Search Console or Bing Webmaster tools (actually, I let Bing import form Google Console).
Maybe the confusion is that the HTML file needs to be updated monthly. I would be curious to hear your thoughts on that, thank you!”
There’s a lot to unpack in here, and Renee’s question strikes a few of my nerves that I’d like to dive into.
Before I do that though I’ll just say no, you don’t have to submit your sitemap every month.
Now, let’s address some common questions and misconceptions about sitemaps before we go into more detail on Renee’s question.What’s The Value In XML Sitemaps?
XML sitemaps are a big pet peeve of mine.
It seems like 75% of the 3rd party SEO audits I see these days all start off with “you don’t have an XML sitemap, create one!”
XML sitemaps aren’t a ranking factor.
Leaving aside hreflang and other stuff, their main use is for discovering links.
That means if you have a really good site architecture and code your site using all the best practices, search engines most likely discover all your links without needing a sitemap.
For many sites with technical problems that affect crawling though, they can be a lifesaver.
That context is important, meaning an XML sitemap might be a really important SEO fix, or it might not be needed at all.Ok, I Need An XML Sitemap, How Often Do I Submit It?
Ideally, you only need to submit your sitemap once (per search engine) in the search console.
After that, they will keep re-crawling it on a schedule that they think makes sense based on what they know about your site.
You should also reference your sitemap in your chúng tôi file.
There’s really no reason to keep submitting it after that.
If you’re doing a major redesign and update and want to re-submit it for peace of mind, go for it. There’s no harm.… Like A Knife
While XML sitemaps can be a great way to get URLs indexed, they can also be dangerous if you don’t stay on top of them.
Most websites I look at have XML sitemaps that contain several errors.
Many of the URLs don’t get automatically updated or removed when the site is changed, so they end up submitting a sitemap full of 301 redirects or pages that don’t exist anymore (404).
Years ago at a conference, a Bing rep told me that if a couple of the URLs in your XML sitemap had a status other than 200, then Bing assumed your sitemap was out of date and ignored it.
I have no idea if that’s still the case or what that threshold is, but it makes sense.
I’ve seen too many SEO experts make a change to their URLs, then cause themselves all kinds of issues by leaving the old URL in the XML sitemap.What About HTML Sitemaps?
For starters, you shouldn’t have to worry about submitting an HTML sitemap.
I don’t hate HTML sitemaps, but the same caveat about making sure you update it whenever you do other changes still applies here.
You don’t want to send conflicting messages to search engines by including your non-canonical versions in some old sitemap you forgot about.
Remember, HTML sitemaps are essentially just another crawl band-aid though.
If your site architecture is perfect and your code is all clean and crawlable, you won’t need one.
Most clients I work with use the HTML sitemap as a quick fix because of some weird UX issues preventing search engines from cleanly getting to pages.
It works, but it’s not the best way.
I hope this clears up a lot of questions about XML sitemaps.
In a perfect world, we wouldn’t need them.
In the real world though, XML sitemaps can be a powerful tool or a great way to cause a bunch of issues with your website.
Featured Image: BestForBest/Shutterstock
Windows 10 version 2004 (May 2023 Update) is the ninth feature update that Microsoft is making available for desktops, laptops, and tablets. The development is internally known as the 20H1 update, and the officially marketing name is the “May 2023 Update.”
The May 2023 Update is just another update, but unlike the patches that rollout every month, this release introduces a new set of improvements and some new features.
The new feature update will launch on May 27, 2023, and it’ll be offered as a free upgrade for computers already running Windows 10. Initially, it’ll only be available for devices running version 1909 and 1903 first, then it’ll expand to older releases.
Microsoft will be rolling out version 2004 gradually. The company will start with devices known to support the new version, and then when the update go through further testing, and there are not blocking bugs, the rollout will expand to more devices.
However, the update won’t download and install automatically. Instead, you’ll receive a notification that the May 2023 Update is ready, and when you’re ready, you can initiate the automatic upgrade from Windows Update.
In the case that your computer is running an older version of Windows 10 nearing the end of service, then version 2004 will download and install automatically. (This automatic upgrade doesn’t happen immediately. Usually, devices nearing the end of service will upgrade a few weeks or months after the new version becomes available.)
If your computer isn’t getting the May 2023 Update through Windows Update, then it’s likely that the update isn’t currently fully compatible. This is one of the reasons why it’s not recommended to force a new version, unless you know exactly what you’re doing, and you understand the risks.Windows 10 May 2023 Update version number
Following the same version scheme as earlier versions, this new release will be known as “Windows 10 version 2004,” which indicates the year and month of the completion of the development, not the release date.
Originally, the version number was going to be “2003,” but Microsoft skipped the number and opted for “2004” to prevent confusion with other products, such as Windows Server 2003.Windows 10 version 2004 installation
When the “May 2023 Update” arrives, and it’s compatible for your computer, you’ll receive a notification from Windows Update to install it as a regular update. However, it’ll take longer to install because a complete reinstallation is required.
In the case that you don’t want to wait until it becomes available automatically, it’s possible to install the new version using the Media Creation Tool or Update Assistant. You can also download the Windows 10 version 2004 ISO file if you want to take that path (when available).Windows 10 version 2004 reasons to upgrade
Perhaps the main reasons to upgrade to version 2004 is to get the new security enhancements and more importantly to continue to keep your device supported.
However, you’re also getting a number of incremental changes and some new features. For example, there’s a new option in the Sign-in settings to switch to a modern form authentication using Windows Hello, ditching your password across the entire operating system.
Starting with the May 2023 Update, Cortana is no longer part of Windows 10. Instead, it becomes an app that updates through the Microsoft Store and provides a new chat-based interface with the ability to input text or voice to interact with the assistant.
There are some improvements for optional features, including the ability to select and install more than one feature at a time. Also, WordPad, Paint, Notepad become features on-demand, which means that you can remove and add them back again from the Optional Features settings page.
The Status page for networking now can show you the active connection, along with quick access to the adapter properties and data usage stats.
Another new feature with the first feature update of 2023 is the Text cursor indicator, in the “Ease of Access” settings, which is a feature that will help you see and find the text cursor anywhere it might be on the screen.
After installing version 2004, you’ll be able to pair a Bluetooth device directly from the notification popup, as soon as the device is detected, without the need to open the Settings app. In addition, Windows 10 now has an improved interface that shows less notifications making pairing a little faster.
The Windows 10 May 2023 Update introduces Windows Subsystem for Linux 2, which is a latest version of the feature that runs ELF64 Linux binaries.
Starting with this release, the operating system is getting native support for network cameras to make it easier for developers to build security and machine learning video analytics solutions.
Windows Defender Antivirus becomes Microsoft Defender Antivirus to reflect that the solution is now a cross-platform approach for endpoint security.
The Reset this PC feature has been updated with a new Cloud Download feature that allows you to download a fresh copy of Windows 10 directly from the Microsoft servers, instead of using the file locally available on the computer, and much more.Windows 10 May 2023 Update block automatic install
Although the Windows 10 May 2023 Update is meant to enhance the overall experience, new releases are known to have bugs and problems during the early days.
If you want to avoid possible errors and other issues, it’s always a good idea to defer Windows 10 feature updates for at least a month or two until you know for sure the update is stable and working correctly. However, if you’re thinking on upgrading as soon as it’s available, you can refer to this guide to upgrade without problems.
Finding Resources and Hope during Suicide Awareness Month
Mental HealthFinding Resources and Hope During Suicide Awareness Month Staff member and BU alumna offers helpful tips for students in need of support.
September is Suicide Awareness Month, a time for finding hope. Hope is essential now, more than ever, especially for those who are feeling lost, alone, and out of options. At BU’s Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation, hope drives everything we do. We offer nonjudgmental, resilience-building tools to support your goals and needs. We are proud to hold hope for our students, especially when they might not be able to have hope for themselves.
Within BU’s College Mental Health Programs, I’ve worked with students who feel hopeless and alone. Rather than problem-solving these feelings of hopelessness, we sit with them. We climb down into the hole of despair and say, “This sounds painful, but I’ll be here for you so you don’t have to sit with this alone.” The transformative power of sitting with a student’s pain creates opportunities for connection, for growth, and for hope. I’ve seen students regain their confidence in the classroom, come out to family and friends, find meaningful friendships, develop career goals, and accept their mistakes as growth opportunities, rather than devastating failures. While there are still hard days, I’ve heard many students say that someone acknowledging their pain was their path to coping with it.
If you or a loved one are distressed, but aren’t sure how to ask for help, these tips are for you. You can play an essential role in suicide prevention by expressing your concern in a caring, nonjudgmental way. Taking the initiative to ask for help or having a difficult conversation can save a life. Reaching out for help is a positive and life-affirming step to take, this month and every month.1. Know the Signs
When distress becomes overwhelming, it’s important to pay attention to any changes in a person’s language, mood, and behavior. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s website includes a list of warning signs and risk factors and they include: talking about feeling like a burden, extreme mood swings, and abnormal sleeping habits. The website also includes 24/7, free, and confidential support via online chat or by phone at 1-800-273-8255.2. Initiate a Conversation
Some people worry that by asking if a person is considering suicide, they might “put the idea in their head”—this could not be further from the truth. Research shows that talking about suicide and difficult emotions are live-saving actions. Seize the Awkward is an initiative by The JED Foundation to start these uncomfortable conversations with friends and classmates. “I’ve noticed you’ve been down lately. What’s been going on?” and “Seems like you haven’t been yourself lately. What’s up?” are just a few of their example conversation starters. BU has its own tip sheet for students in distress, including asking open-ended questions, finding a private space to talk, and focusing more on listening with empathy than finding a solution.3. Connect with Campus Resources
The JED Foundation also created an online screening tool that connects you with relevant mental health resources on your campus. At BU, you might join one of Behavioral Medicine’s groups or workshops for coping through social connection, managing anxiety, LGBTQ+ support, and more. Through BU’s College Mental Health Programs, we also offer individual coaching, open-enrollment classes, and free weekly activities for support. Connecting with campus supports and peers around distressing emotions is a step away from isolation and towards finding hope.4. Reach Out for Nonjudgmental Support
Whether you are reaching out for yourself or someone else, it’s critical to find someone to listen. You might reach out to a professor, therapist, or a free, 24/7, confidential service like Crisis Text Line. Text 741741 anytime to be connected with a crisis counselor immediately. The Trevor Project is a resource specifically for the LGBTQ+ community and can be reached by phone at 1-866-488-7386 or by texting START to 678678. Trans Lifeline is a resource for the trans community by the trans community to provide emotional, financial, and crisis support. You can contact the Trans Lifeline at 877-565-8860. The Steve Fund is an organization focused on supporting the mental health and emotional well-being of young people of color. In addition to workshops and community conversations, it also has a special partnership with Crisis Text Line. Simply text STEVE to 741741.5. Keep Your Well-being a Priority
Recently, the Centers for Disease Control reported that 1 in 4 young adults (ages 18-24) have seriously considered suicide. We are in the midst of an especially anxiety-provoking and isolating time, yet it’s essential to find hope and stay connected. Active Minds offers resources for self-care and ways to promote a healthy campus mental health culture. NAMI is a national organization with in-person and virtual resources for managing a mental health condition as a college student. Diversifying your social media feed with accounts like TWLOHA is also a helpful reminder to keep hope for yourselves and others.
Remember, your life matters and you are not alone.
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