Student Health and Counseling Services (SHCS) hosted events from Sep. 9, 2019 until Sep. 13, 2019 in order to commemorate Suicide Prevention Awareness Week. National Suicide Prevention Week, which has been held since 1975, is centered around World Suicide Prevention Day, annually held on Sept. 10 since 2003.
Some of the events hosted by SHCS included tabling from Sept. 9-11 in order to share educational programming about suicide prevention awareness. According to Randy Barker, the interim director of Health, Counseling, and Well-Being, information and resources were given out, such as “How to spot the warning signs of someone that may be feeling suicidal, How to assist someone in asking if they may be feeling suicidal, Risk factors, and teal and purple awareness ribbons.”
Additionally, SHCS had custom made “Every Yellowjacket Matters” stickers created that included the suicide hotline number.
“Our hope is that if someone sees a sticker on a friend’s water bottle, laptop, etc. that they will know that Student Health and Counseling Services is a place that they can come get connected with a counselor to talk about their struggles,” said Barker.
Suicide prevention awareness training was also put on by licensed counselor Stacy Desmond. Barker said, “we [SCHS] especially want students to know that every one of them matters and that we can get them connected if they are feeling hopeless.”
Regarding future events, SHCS is committed to continuing suicide awareness, providing resources, and accommodating any future suicide prevention training requests.
“Suicide is a deep topic which many individuals still feel uncomfortable talking about,” said Barker. “Yet we did have many students stop by and grab resources.”
Some warning sides of suicide include statements indicating suicidal thinking, withdrawal from friends, family, and society, and feeling trapped and hopeless. Risk factors include a history of previous suicide attempts, history of alcohol and substance abuse, and impulsive or aggressive tendencies.
If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts please contact the national suicide hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).