Suicide Prevention Week promotes peer awareness

By KOLTON MATUREY

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For Suicide Prevention Week, Rae of Hope and Student Health of McKenna showed their support for student mental health and wellbeing. On Tuesday morning, they hosted Messages of Hope at Cope Fountain for students to write encouraging messages to their peers.

During this event, McKenna’s Rae of Hope also gave students the opportunity to sign up for Project Bandana.

“On my backpack I have a green bandana tied on it. And that kind of represents that I’m open to talking about mental health and suicide openly, without judgment or gimmicks and I’ve taken resources,” said said Connor Morrison, a Pi Kappa Alpha rep who works with McKenna’s Rae of Hope.

The Bandana Project is a nationwide movement that specifically asks students to take a more interactive role in suicide prevention. The project gives these students the opportunity to have a green bandana on them to show that they are equipped to have these kinds of non-judgmental conversations.

“I know the Green Bandana project is a bit national. There are many different projects on universities. So it’s just a good idea to introduce it here,” said Connor Morrison.

On Thursday, students had a second opportunity to learn about the Bandana Project at Brewed Awakening at West Center, while enjoying a free coffee funded by Student Health.

There, Jordan McCoy, Promotion and Prevention Coordinator, and Ashley Roemmich, President of Peer Health Education spoke with students about the future of mental health on campus.

“Obviously I drink a lot of coffee and I think it’s a huge way for people to connect and there’s like a huge community in there,” Roemmich said.

As Suicide Prevention Week is over, Rae of Hope and Student Health at McKenna are creating an on-campus organization to get students more involved in mental health awareness and suicide prevention.

The organization called Lopes for Hope will bring more students into the conversation about mental health. Students from this organization will be certified in different areas, including suicide prevention and resources. They can also help guide their peers in the right direction.

As the process of establishing the organization on campus is still ongoing, Rae of Hope and Student Health at McKenna are still open to students for assistance. The Suicide Prevention Lifeline is also available 24 hours a day at its new number 988.

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