Suicide Prevention Week: Garden of Intentions

CMHS and PRLACC hosted to plant positive and meditative thoughts about mental health in the participants’ minds. (Amar Batra/The Daily Campus)

As part of Suicide Prevention Week, the “Garden of Intentions” on Tuesday offered students four varieties of plants to pot themselves and drew a connection between mental health and gardening.

The Puerto Rican/Latin American Cultural Center hosted the event which took place on the Student Union Terrace.

The Garden of Intentions’ purpose was to plant positive and meditative thoughts about mental health in the participants’ minds.

The garden variety houseplants offered included African violets, Swedish ivy and Wandering jew.

All the plants are fairly easy to care for, lending themselves well to dorm-life.

University of Connecticut Counseling and Mental Health Services (CMHS) teamed with PRLACC to fund this event promoting mental health awareness.

CMHS has offered multiple events this week for Suicide Prevention Week, including t-shirts and pins featuring the slogan “Look Up: Connection is Prevention” and flags bearing inspirational messages placed throughout the grass around the Student Union bearing inspirational messages.

An emphasis on understanding mental illness and the stigma surrounding it is a primary goal of CMHS’ Suicide Prevention Week efforts.

Robyn Lerebours, a first-semester math pre-teaching major, found out about the Suicide Prevention Week events through her Mentoring, Education, Training and Academic Success (METAS) instructor.

“Mental health is important, especially with social media. There’s a lot of ‘he-said-she-said’ that affects students,” Lerebrous said.

While the Suicide Prevention Week events were not heavily advertised, their effectiveness is not lessened by this.

“The event is very informative. If students did not know about the Suicide Prevention Week events before, they could learn about it when they walk by and see,” Lerebrous said.

“Mental health is very important because it’s something people are afraid to talk about, yet so many people are struggling with it every day,” Leila Gallupe, a third semester speech, language and hearing science major said.

“The event was helpful because it provided a more lighthearted setting to talk about [mental health] in and it gave people information on how to use the counseling services here if they need them,” Gallupe said.

The event offered a therapeutic and cathartic way to discuss mental health while giving away free and natural gifts.

“Also, plants are adorable and they make people happy,” Gallupe said.

CMHS has a myriad of events planned for Suicide Prevention Week, which runs from Sept. 25 to Sept. 29.

Check out the upcoming events, including a lecture by founder of the suicide prevention movement “To Write Love on Her Arms” Jamie Tworkowski, at suicideprevention.uconn.edu.      


Abby Brone is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at abigail.brone@uconn.edu.