Loyola hosts suicide prevention week events

Jc Canicosa

This week Loyola University’s Counseling Center teamed up with the new Student Involvement Health Advocates Program to host Worldwide Suicide Prevention Week events on campus to raise awareness for those with suicidal thoughts and promote a safer and more accepting campus environment.

The events kicked off Tuesday as members of the Health Advocates Program handed out Lift Up Loyola badges in the Danna Student Center to encourage a supportive and uplifting community among students. Health Advocates also invited students to reach out to friends who may be struggling in person or by writing positive messages of love and support in the One Loyola room.

The movement spread to social media, as the counseling center and student Health Advocates encouraged the Loyola community to post or tweet uplifting messages and personal stories.

Freshman English major Kaylie Saidin said she felt the supportive impact of the events.

“I think some of these events, petitions and pledges are very moving to this cause,” Saidin said. “A lot of college students feel alone, and this week shows them that they don’t have to be.”

The week culminated with Suicide Prevention Day Friday, as students were invited to leave a lit electronic tea candle in their windows to demonstrate a commitment to suicide prevention.

Associate Director of the University Counseling Center Asia Wong stressed the importance of Loyola’s support of suicide prevention.

“Suicide is such a massive cause of death to young adults in college,” Wong said. “How could we not show commitment to trying to prevent it?”

The counseling center offers year round support to any student in need. Students have 24-hour access to an on-call counselor and are welcome to talk to a counselor at any time.

“We are continuing our Lift Up Loyola initiative so students know the resources they need are available on campus, and making sure everyone on campus feels comfortable using these resources,” Wong added.