September is an important month for a plethora of reasons. It marks the beginning of a new school year, the changing of the leaves and a fresh start, but most importantly it is National Suicide Prevention Month. The University of Connecticut dedicates an entire week to events and activities that raise mental health awareness.
Active Minds, an organization dedicated to young adult suicide prevention and mental health, is starting off the week with Field of Memories on Sept. 22. 1,100 flags representing college student suicide deaths will be placed on the Student Union Lawn. Leaders from Active Minds will be stationed outside of the Union to talk to anyone that wants to speak. On Sunday, Sept. 23, Student Health and Wellness will be conducting HELPS (Helping Everyone Learn to Prevent Suicide).
It’s important to recognize that suicide prevention does not only apply to those struggling with mental health. Learning to recognize the warning signs and providing support are skills that every individual should have. On Monday, Sept. 24, the Dean of Students is hosting “Listen Louder” from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Student Union. Students will be able to share personal stories and connect with one another.
On Sept. 26, keynote speaker Beth Macy is coming to Jorgenson to discuss the opioid crisis in America. Suicide Prevention Resources states, “Beth Macy shows, astonishingly, that the only thing that unites Americans across geographic and class lines is opioid drug abuse.” As sad as this is, we need to work as a community to inform ourselves and hopefully one day eliminate the rampant opioid addiction that is taking the lives of so many. These are only four of the 13 events that are being held throughout the week. To know more, head to UConn Suicide Prevention Resources.
Not only do these events provide support to students going through hard times, but they also inform the general public of how to help someone in times of need. While UConn’s Suicide Prevention Week is an amazing way to be an ally, it is not the only time when professionals are here to help.
Student Health and Wellness provides counseling services throughout any time of the year. Informal consulting drop in hours are Monday through Friday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. in Arjona and Tuesday 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the Student Union, room 410. While these services should not be used for a clinical crisis (call 860-468-4705), they are available free of charge to anyone who is seeking advice, wants to experiment with therapy or needs to connect with other resources on campus. SHaW also provides support regarding anxiety/stress, depression, college adjustment, addictive behaviors and eating disorders.
When facing these hurdles it’s easy to forget that you are not alone. There are fellow students in your UConn community going through the same thing, as well as in your hometown, state, nation and the entire world. UConn’s professional staff members are there for any student that needs their aid.
To learn more, visit:
These are other resources for mental health emergencies:
1-800-273-8255 (1-800-273-TALK) - National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-784-2433 (1-800-SUICIDE) - National Hopeline Network
1-866-488-7386 (1-866-4.U.TREVOR) - aimed at gay and questioning youth
1-800-203-1234 - Toll Free statewide info-line
Jordana Castelli is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.