CAPS office to host inaugural Suicide Awareness Week at Mercer

The+Counseling+and+Psychological+Services+office+is+hosting+a+Suicide+Awareness+Week+that+will+be+dedicated+to+promoting+education+about+suicide+prevention%2C+how+to+get+help+and+how+to+help+others+who+may+be+in+distress.+The+purple+and+turquoise+ribbon+symbolizes+suicide+awareness+and+prevention.

Image: Jayla Moody

The Counseling and Psychological Services office is hosting a Suicide Awareness Week that will be dedicated to promoting education about suicide prevention, how to get help and how to help others who may be in distress. The purple and turquoise ribbon symbolizes suicide awareness and prevention.

Jayla Moody, Arts & Entertainment Editor

The Counseling and Psychological Services office is hosting a Suicide Awareness Week that will be dedicated to promoting education about suicide prevention, how to get help and how to help others who may be in distress.

Mercer’s Suicide Awareness Week will take place Oct. 9-13. The national Suicide Awareness Week is Sept. 11-15.

Our Dean of Students, Dr. Pearson, saw the need to bring education on this issue to Mercer and when I was asked, I gathered a team of Student Affairs Staff and we ran with the charge,” said Whitney Wyatt, a Counseling and Psychological Services therapist.

“We need this week because we want Mercer to continue to be a zero suicide zone,” Wyatt said. “It has been several years since there was a completed suicide on this campus, and we want to make sure that students continue to choose life.”

Wyatt said they will focus on normalizing help-seeking behaviors and promoting mental wellness to students.

“Suicide prevention is a collective effort,” she said.

Throughout the week, the committee will disseminate helpful information about suicide prevention, show an impactful prevention video and have a mental health speaker from the community speak to the students about being healthy and preventing suicide.

There will also be a balloon release on Cruz Plaza where students can write down something that they have been dealing with that they want to release, attach it to the balloon and actually release it into the air, Wyatt said.

Residence Life and the student organization AWARE will be helping with the events.

“We also have solicited the help from a local chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness who will be speaking at one of the events,” she said.

Wyatt hopes to make this an annual week and plans to keep the conversation about suicide prevention and mental wellness going throughout the year. She also wants to invite other student organizations that are interested to please get into contact with her or the CAPS office with ideas or just a willingness to get involved.