Each year approximately 24,000 college student either contemplate or attempt suicide. About 1,100 student succeed in their attempt, making suicide one of the leading causes of death in college students. September is National Suicide Prevention Month and here is what Kean University is doing to let their students know how many people are rooting for them to succeed.
College can be scary for a lot of reasons including newfound freedom, stress, new environments, and exposure to dangers such as drugs and alcohol. It can be a lot for just one person and many may feel alone. That is why on September 13, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., students gathered in Downs Hall for a suicide prevention awarness event.
Send Silence Packing is an exhibit where the Active Minds group brings over 50 backpacks to a location and on about half of the backpacks is a story of someone who took their own life. It showed how many people with no symptoms of depression or mental illness still committed suicide. The stories varied from elderly adults all the way to eight year olds.
One story read “He would have been Valedictorian of his High School had he not died by Suicide” Zack Tosckovish (1989 - 2007).
The stories were heartbreaking because the perspectives showed how suicide affects all who knew them. The backpacks came in all different shapes and sizes. The event also included original backpacks of those whose stories were being showcased.
This is one of 17+ activities that were planned for the month. These activities are made for student interaction and to provide support resources that they may need. Some of the activities include pet therapy, documentaries, gardening, and workshops.
“I think without my friends and support at Kean, I think I would’ve been in a very different position,” said Eric Bloom, a freshman psychology major.
Many freshmen feel alone at the beginning of college. Even students in later years still struggle with finding support. For these reasons, Kean University tries to host so many different events to give students the opportunity to meet new people and feel welcomed by their peers and staff.
“The epic story of tomorrow can't be written if it ends today.” — Unknown
If you or someone you know is struggling, please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255 or by contacting Kean Counseling Center at 908-737-4850 or visiting their office in Downs Hall room 127.