‘Not Another Aggie’ Suicide Awareness Walk Sept. 10
The Texas A&M University Suicide Awareness & Prevention Office will host the third annual Not Another Aggie Suicide Awareness Walk on Tuesday, Sept. 10 at 7 p.m. to raise awareness of suicide prevention, share information about campus resources and provide support for survivors and those struggling with suicidal thoughts or depression.
“We hope to create a safe and inviting event during which the Texas A&M community can share resources and stories in an effort to shed light on this stigmatized topic,” said Assistant Director of Counseling and Psychological Services Santana Simple. “We are working to break the stigma on several fronts so that students in distress and those of us who are here to support them understand the resources available to help.”
The event, which coincides with National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and World Suicide Prevention Day, will begin at 7 p.m. in Rudder Plaza on campus. The event will feature live music by the Texas A&M Percussion Studio, testimonials from suicide survivors, information booths hosted by campus and local organizations, and interactive displays such as the Reasons for Living Board and Messages of Hope posters. While supplies last, participants will receive a free T-shirt, snacks, drinks and other giveaways.
At 8 p.m., participants will join people around the world in lighting a candle to remember those who have died by suicide, and offer hope for survivors. Participants will observe a moment of silence as part of this international moment. The walk begins at 8:15 p.m.
“Last year we were able to reach more than 1,000 students, faculty, staff and community members in Bryan-College Station,” Simple said. “With the support of Texas A&M and the community, we can spread the news of suicide awareness and prevention so that not another Aggie will be lost.”
National grant boosts Texas A&M suicide prevention efforts
In fall 2018, Texas A&M Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) was awarded the Garrett Lee Smith (GLS) Campus Suicide Prevention Grant, which is allowing the creation of a single point of coordination for campus-wide suicide prevention efforts through the Suicide Awareness & Prevention Office.
The office provides a variety of suicide awareness and prevention resources, including:
- Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR): A one-hour workshop that teaches students, faculty and staff how to recognize warning signs, ask about suicide and refer individuals to help;
- Campus Connect: Interactive student training to help raise awareness about college student suicide;
- Gatekeeper 2.0: Gives participants who have taken QPR or Campus Connect a chance to refresh their skills and reflect on the challenges of talking about suicide;
- Kognito: A virtual simulation of real-life scenarios that trains students, faculty and staff to have conversations with those in mental distress;
- Sanvello: A mobile application to assist with stress, anxiety and depression,and is available for free to Texas A&M students, faculty and staff with a valid UIN on the Apple App Store and Google Play;
- HelpLine: A volunteer, after-hours mental health service that provides support, information, crisis intervention and referrals to students and those concerned about students. It is available from 4 p.m. to 8 a.m. on weekdays and 24 hours a day on weekends when school is in session.
“One of the best things about this event is that it provides the visual representation to anyone who is struggling with suicide or distress that there are people who care,” Simple said. “My favorite parts of the walk are seeing the walk participants connect to community resources, and the messages of hope that are displayed during the walk. Our goal is for everyone to know that if you know someone who is struggling with suicide or if you yourself are struggling, there are people not only on the Texas A&M campus, but in the Bryan-College Station community who will give you their unwavering support.”