Southeastrn Louisiana University is hosting a suicide prevention walk on April 1st at 10 a.m starting at the Pennington Student Activity Center.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention founded The Out of the Darkness Community Walk. There have been 350 walks organized throughout the U.S. and over 200,000 walkers that have raised money and awareness for suicide and mental illness. All funds benefit research, prevention, public policy and legislation regarding mental health with 40 percent staying within the state of Louisiana.
Mitzie Meyers, instructor in the School of Nursing at Southeastern, organized the walk and hopes that it will assist in ending the stigma associated with mental illness. Meyers said, “After learning that suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death amongst college aged Americans, I wanted to do something to help. The walk will provide material to educate people on the warnings and symptoms of depression as well as how to effectively talk to someone that could possibly be suicidal.”
The cause is close to Meyers heart. After losing her sister to suicide, she wanted to turn something tragic into something good. She said, “If this walk could prevent even one death or attempt, it will have been worth it.”
Senior nursing student Rebecca Galivan’s Capstone Project themed “Think Happy Thoughts” shares information about depression and suicide as well as positive coping mechanisms and resources for students on and off campus. Galivan and other senior nursing students will be in the Student Union this Thursday offering this information and resources to Southeastern’s students.
Galivan said, “We are also helping to promote the Out of the Darkness Walk. It’s such a great cause and such a prevalent problem amongst college kids, so it’s important that students know there are people that care and know how to help.”