Active Minds raises awareness about suicide

Story by Whitney Silkey, Assistant News Editor

Suicide Awareness Week is Sept. 7-13. On a mission to help reduce the stigma about mental illness and to raise awareness about suicide on campus, Active Minds is hosting “The Truth about Suicide” at 9 p.m. on Sept. 9 in the Owens AV room.

“Suicide is the second leading cause of death for college students behind car accidents,” Tim Hodges, adviser of Active Minds and director of counseling services, said.

Suicide awareness is a prevalent issue for college students today. Approximately 25 percent of students will experience depression during some point in their college career that can lead to suicidal tendencies.

“The Truth about Suicide” presentation will include a 25-minute video that shows real college students and their first-hand experiences with suicide.

“It gives a lot of information on how to help a friend or family member who is suicidal,” Hodges said.

After the video there will be time for discussion and for students to ask questions.

“This is a place where the hard questions will be answered,” junior Brittney Harmon said.

She hopes that people will have the courage to ask their own questions and to listen to the discussion that will help lessen the stigma of suicide and mental illness.

“Whether or not we’d like to admit it, every person will be affected by suicide at some point in their lives,” Harmon said. “My hope here at Baker is to reduce that number of lives [lost to suicide].”

After going through his own personal experience with depression, junior Parks Boeschen thinks it is important that students know what is going on because he didn’t think it would happen to him, but it did.

“Asking that question, ‘Are you thinking about hurting yourself?’ That’s huge,” Hodges said.

Active Minds meets at 8 p.m. every first and third Thursday of the month in the Long Student Center.