Suicide Prevention Week is from September 10 to September 16. This important week is a time for people to partake in some of the following things:
- Acknowledge and learn about the statistics of suicide.
- Learn how to take care of mental health.
- Provide support to others and remind them that they are not alone.
- Learn about resources to aid those who may be at risk.
On Tuesday, September 12, poet and Kean alumna, Dailyn Santana came to speak in the Miron Student Center Little Theatre. Santana shared her emotional and inspiring mental health journey through her powerful words of poetry. She explained how she struggled with her mental health all while juggling school and other obstacles such as growing up with a negative perspective on mental health and the possibility of a diagnosis.
“I didn’t know how to deal with my anxiety, manic episodes, or my depression. I didn’t feel comfortable talking to anyone in my family about it,” said Santana.
Santana continued to talk about the importance of students reaching out and knowing that there is someone who cares about their wellbeing as their voices matter, especially regarding the topic of mental health.
“Mental health means to be human. It’s what it means to be a person, every single person has their own mental health, their own challenges, and what they deal with,” said Santana. “Mental health is unique to everyone, that’s what makes it beautiful and powerful.”
During the event, the audience participated in a few mental health exercises such as writing the first three words that captured how they felt and how they vow to prioritize their mental health this semester.
Santana wrapped up the event with a poem explaining how she began prioritizing her mental health, seeing a psychiatrist, and realizing that she wasn’t the only person struggling with mental health. Her final words to the audience were words of affirmation.
“You are assigned this mountain to show others it can be moved,” said Santana.
Attendees were able to reflect on the event and how Santana impacted them.
”I love watching public speakers. Seeing Dailyn speak was really inspiring and motivational,” said Samantha Williams.
Other students came to the event to fill their time in between classes, they were pleasantly surprised at the impact of the event.
”I really like poetry and I had a little free time in my schedule so why not,” said Taylor Fleming.
Then, there were some students that had the event marked on their calendars.
“I came to this event because I did tabling for SGA during the iEngage event and I saw that this was one of the events posted so I really wanted to just come out and see Daylin speak,” said Jazmin Langomas.
Santana's poetry was moving and motivational. It is important for students to see the multidimensional reality of mental health and the steps that people take to better themselves, having a Kean alumna share her journey was absolutely perfect.