World Suicide Prevention Day Table

At the table, volunteers promoted the upcoming Mental Health Fair. Photo by Jhiara Henderson (‘21).

With September being Suicide Prevention Month and Sept. 10 being World Suicide Prevention Day, the Tiger Counseling Center presented a table in front of the CDR last week with flyers, pins and information about suicide prevention.

One of the flyers at the table had information about a free training event to help prevent suicide called QPR training. The event will be held on Sept. 18 from 4:30 p.m to 6 p.m. in room 212 in the 1929 building. This training allows for a three-year certification in suicide prevention.

Another flyer that was at the table included the free suicide prevention lifeline, 1-800-273-TALK (8255). It had the phone number to call, as well as the website to visit for information. What it did not have, however, was the text line for people to use. To reach the Crisis Text Line, text “HOME” to 741741. The back of the sheet that was handed out included some of the warning signs and some information about how the risk may be greater for some people.

The Tiger Counseling Center had also made its own flyer about National Suicide Prevention Week, which is Sept. 8 to Sept. 14. This flyer includes resources, warning signs, risk factors and protective factors that are all important to be aware of. The section about risk factors contains more information than the flyer from the Suicide Prevention Lifeline does. This flyer also explains that protective factors are: feeling socially connected, seeking mental health services and increasing coping skills.

On the other side of the QPR flyer, there was information about the events that the Tiger Counseling Center is hosting this semester. When asked, Counselor Brooke appeared happy to explain that these events would be starting on Sept. 17 and will all take place on Tuesdays from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The last flyer that was available at the table was from the World Health Organization and encourages people to take “40 seconds of action” every day from Sept. 10 to Oct. 10, which is World Mental Health Day. The purpose of these “40 seconds of action” is to help improve awareness of the significance of suicide as a global public health problem, improve knowledge of what can be done to prevent suicide, reduce the stigma associated with suicide and let people who are struggling know that they are not alone. “Put simply, this is an opportunity to show you care,” the flyer reads under the list.

The back of the flyer from the World Health Organization gives ideas of what people can do for their “40 seconds of action” daily, as well as key facts and figures. The five key facts that are given are: suicides are preventable, one person dies by suicide every 40 seconds, a prior suicide attempt is an important risk factor for suicide, suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year-olds and that suicide affects people of all age groups in all countries.

When asked, Brooke said that the reason the World Health Organization wants people to take 40 seconds of action is to remember that every 40 seconds, someone dies by suicide. She also said that the 40 seconds can be basic self-care.

These are not the only resources that Wittenberg’s Tiger Counseling Center offers. They are also available Monday through Friday, and “you can email us at counseling@wittenberg.edu to set up an appointment or to learn more about what you can do,” Brooke said.

The table also had ribbons. There were green and gold ribbons; green symbolizes mental health awareness, and gold symbolizes suicide awareness. It is a small way to show support for those who are struggling and to help reduce the stigma not only around suicide, but around mental health and mental illness.

The table also advertised the upcoming Mental Health Fair that will be hosted by the Tiger Counseling Center on Oct. 24, 2019 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and will display secrets that students write anonymously and place into a box. This was also at the Mental Health Fair that was held in April during the 2018-2019 academic year.

The QPR training that will take place on Sept. 18 may be triggering to students who struggle with suicidal thoughts or know someone who died by suicide. In light of this, there will be a representative from the Tiger Counseling Center present for students to talk to if they leave or after the event.

Suicide is tragic and affects more than the family and friends of the deceased, it affects the community as a whole. If you or someone you know is struggling, please reach out to a campus resource or use one of the crisis lines that have been given. No one on this campus is alone, there is someone for everyone to talk to.

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