On Thursday, September 12, the new ABAC Zero Suicide Committee brought awareness to campus about suicide prevention. The committee set up a table outside of Conger Hall, where they distributed flyers about the cause and different color beads.
Each bead represents someone’s personal connection to suicide and helps identify others who understand their experience.
Professor Suzanne Smith, who helped with the event, said, “The whole hope is that people will wear them and then as people ask questions about it, they can say it’s suicidal awareness prevention month.”
There are nine colors that each represent something different. White represents the loss of a child, red is for the loss of a spouse or partner, gold is for the loss of a parent, orange is for the loss of a sibling, purple is for the loss of a relative or friend, silver is for the loss of a first responder, green is for your own personal struggle or attempt, teal is for supporting someone who struggles or has attempted and blue is for supporting suicide prevention altogether.
As the day progressed, Smith said that blue was the one color they ran out of, “But what we also had a lot of has been the teal.”
Smith also had help from the dean of students, Bernice Hughes, who has been trying to have this event for the past six years.
“What we’re trying to do is get away from is the stigma that mental health has around it,” Hughes said, “And for people to talk about the illnesses and let people know what’s going on because so many students suffer in silence.” The ABAC Zero Suicide Committee plans to get more involved with Suicide Prevention and getting the word out.
If you or someone else you know has struggled with suicidal thoughts or mental health issues, you can visit the Student Development Center, located in Branch Hall, suite 216. Someone will be available to listen to you and answer any questions you may have. Their office hours are 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Friday. Any other time, please contact your CA or someone you trust.