IU South Bend recognizes National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

Staff Writer

September is widely known as National Suicide Prevention Awareness month. Across the country, people are taking this time to talk about suicide, the issues surrounding it and how to prevent it from happening.

Mental health can be difficult to maintain at times. Many of life’s daily stressors can make some feel hopeless with nowhere to go. It is common for those contemplating suicide to hide their suicidal thoughts due to shame and fear of what their family and friends might think.

The goal for this month is to break down the stigma behind suicide, inform others about resources available and to save lives.

According to, licensed clinical therapist and suicide prevention coordinator Jean Henry, suicide is the second leading cause of death for people ages 15-24, putting college students especially at risk.

Students may not be aware of the mental health services available on campus. IU South Bend has its very own counseling center located on the second floor of the Administration Building. Their hours are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Monday and Thursday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, and Fridays by appointment only. If someone is unsure if they are ready to visit the counseling center, they may take a mental health screening online or in the counseling center.

Some of the many services available to students include one-on-one counseling, group therapy sessions and even some relationship counseling. The counseling center has many licensed clinical therapists who are willing to help. These services are free to IUSB students.

The counselors who work with students on campus are trained to work with many common crises such as eating disorders, depression, grief, alcohol and drug use, or academic concerns.

Students may receive up to ten sessions per semester. If a student needs more long term treatment, they may be referred to other services outside of campus. No matter what, the primary goal of the counseling center employees is to get students the help that they need.

This month, IUSB is trying to promote QPR Gatekeeper Training. This is an intensive workshop offered at IUSB, and it is also free to students and staff. The purpose of this training is to teach the warning signs of someone who is suicidal and how to prevent it by questioning their motives, persuading them to get help and referring that person to a mental health specialist. To set up a QPR workshop, contact the counseling center at 574-520-4125. The trained Gatekeepers may come teach the workshop at campus club meetings, in classrooms, or other locations on campus.

“When addressing mental health concerns, most of the issues students bring to us are preventable. We have a free service for students to take advantage of. Most students say ‘I wish I knew about these services sooner,” said Henry.

The student counseling center will promote National Suicide Awareness Month Sept. 19 through 22 in Wiekamp Hall from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Stop by and learn more details about the mental health services provided by IUSB and be a part of the fight to end suicide across the country.

Those in crisis can call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK, to get immediate help.

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