Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Southeast observes suicide prevention awareness

Tuesday, September 12, 2017
Graphic by Taria Graham ~ Design Editor

Southeast looks to increase suicide prevention awareness on campus with targeted events Sept. 12-24, including build your own de-stress kit, depression screenings and a memorial balloon release.

Director of Counseling and Disability Services Torie Grogan said the suicide prevention awareness events help to break the stigma associated with talking about suicide, and educate individuals on risk factors and warning signs. The awareness events will conclude next sunday Sept. 24 with the Out of the Darkness Suicide Prevention Walk at North Cape County Park North.

Southeast’s campus will host its own Out of the Darkness Suicide Prevention Walk in April but Grogan said this month’s walk, hosted by the Eastern chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention “helps students connect not only to campus resources but also to community providers that are great outlets for our students.”

Grogan said the 2016 Out of the Darkness Walk raised more than $18,000 and had around 500 participants.

“These events bring in a lot people who are impacted differently by suicide,” Grogan said. “We want to offer counseling and individual resources along with the outreach focused activities for folks who are supportive of the cause and really want to create awareness.”

The month’s events welcome all those who have lost someone to suicide; those who want to learn, be an advocate and show support and those who are interested in prevention, breaking the stigma and starting a conversation.

A schedule of events according to Counseling and Disability Services:

Tuesday Sept. 12

The Missouri Opioid Summit kicked off at the Show Me Center. The Summit will bring together state experts and voices in healthcare and safety education to shed light on abuse and intervention of opioids like heroin. The event was hosted by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center. It will take place between 8:30 a.m. and 12 p.m.

Wednesday Sept. 13

The Redhawk Health Educators, a student organization, will provide the opportunity for students to build their own de-stress kits. The event will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the third floor of the University Center. Students will be able to fill a box with free promotional items like stress balls. The event will also launch Body U, an online resource available as an application for smartphones to screen for depression and eating disorders.

Thursday Sept. 14

Free and confidential depression screenings offered by Counseling and Disability Services and the Counselor Education Training Clinic. The event will also promote Ask, Listen, Refer, a suicide prevention and awareness training module that covers risk factors and warning signs and is loaded with campus and community resources. Screenings will be held from 11 am to 1 p.m. in the University Center third floor lobby and at the River Campus in the Dobbins Center.

Friday Sept. 15

The week’s events draw to an end with the Suicide Prevention Awareness Balloon Release on the steps of Academic Hall at noon. This event offers an opportunity for supporters and survivors of suicide to recognize anyone they have lost to suicide by releasing a balloon in their honor.

Sunday Sept. 24

The Community Out of the Darkness Suicide Prevention Walk hosted by the Eastern Missouri Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and will take place at Cape County Park North. Organized by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, a non-profit organization, the funds raised by the walk are used to create educational programs, invest in new research, advocate for public policy and support survivors of suicide loss.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Counseling services are available on campus by contacting Counseling and Disability Services at (573) 968-6191

After-hours crisis services are available on campus through the Southeast Department of Public Safety: (573) 651-2215