By: Ashley Rose
September is a great month – pumpkin spice lattes return to coffee shops, sweater weather comes back and it marks the beginning of the fall season. September is also nationally recognized as Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.
On Tuesday Sept. 20, IU South Bend’s sorority Alpha Sigma Tau hosted an event in the SAC to bring more attention to suicide prevention. The goal for the event was to spread awareness and to educate while allowing listening students to participate in a relaxing task.
Providing the paint, brushes and canvases, AST offered an educational and safe environment for students to learn and discuss the importance of suicide prevention.
Taylor Stevenson, the vice president of community relations for AST, had a big hand in coordinating this event. As a senior majoring in community health education, Stevenson was passionate about bringing discussion to this topic.
Stevenson created a powerpoint with informative details about how to recognize suicidal behaviour, how to correctly respond to this behaviour within friends and family and different contact information to have on hand during these situations.
Above all else, Stevenson and the rest of AST wanted the attendees of the event to know they are not alone.
“Statistically proven, college students are incredibly at risk for mental health issues, which leads to risk of suicidal thoughts and attempts,” Stevenson said. “I feel like mental health is very stigmatized, and I want to break the stigma and normalize having conversations about these things.”
Stevenson ended the presentation by opening the floor to questions as well as encouraging students to take papers with information about different mental health illnesses in hopes of further educating students.