COLUMBUS, Miss. – Suicide is a major public health concern, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, which is why Mississippi University for Women will bring attention to the issue during Suicide Prevention Week Sept. 5-8.

NAMI reports that suicide is the 10th leading cause of death among adults in the United States and the second leading cause of individuals ages 10-24.

“We never know what students are dealing with as they go through their days. Stress, anxiety, depression, relationship issues, difficult classes, pressure from parents and peers are a few of the issues we deal with on campus,” explained Dr. Deb Wells from The W’s Counseling Center.

“Many times a student needs to discuss a problem or a concern which can take one or two sessions or more depending on the seriousness. It is very important to recognize the signs of someone considering suicide and the steps to get help for the individual,” she added.

Activities will kick off Tuesday, Sept. 5 with “250 Reasons Why Not To.” Backpacks, accompanied with photos, stories and quotes, will represent a visual memorial of individuals, including celebrities, who attempted to or chose to end their lives. Tables will be set up in front of Hogarth Dining Center from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

On Wednesday, Sept. 6, faculty and staff are invited to participate in a workshop titled “Noticing the Signs” from noon to 1 p.m. in Cochran Hall, 307.

The conversation will continue Thursday, Sept. 7 at 8 p.m. with the movie screening of “A Girl Like Her” in the W Room in Hogarth Student Center. The drama centers around a high school student who is bullied by her ex-best friend.

Sirena Cantrell, dean of students and Title IX coordinator, said, “I strongly believe programming on the topic of suicide prevention is needed on every college campus in order to educate the community and talk openly about this topic.

We want the conversation to keep going not just during this week of programs. Statistics show that suicide is highly prevalent among young people 10-24 years of age. We want to ensure that the campus community is aware of prevention tools and resources.”

The Counseling Center counselors are available daily, by appointment, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. After-hours appointments from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday are also available. For more information about these events and services available through The W Counseling Center, please call (662) 329-7748.

Sept. 1, 2017
Contact: Anika Mitchell Perkins
(662) 329-7124
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