Sunday, June 13, 2010

How to Organize an Inspiring, Engaging and Informative Suicide Awareness and Prevention Week

The poet Robert Ingersoll once said,
“In the night of death, hope sees a star. And listening love can hear the rustle of a wing.”

How can we create hope on our campuses, when many students are suffering in silence?

Many campuses conduct a number of awareness weeks during the year, and as the mental health concerns at our colleges and university increase, many more are participating in the National Suicide Awareness and Prevention Week. Nationally this week is recognized during the second week in September while World Suicide Prevention Day is September 10th -- but really, this week can be scheduled at any time that works for your campus.

...and the time to start planning is now!

Awareness weeks are great for creating energy and for sharing information, but if you never do anything else for suicide prevention all year, you will not create significant and lasting change on your campus. Think about your Suicide Awareness and Prevention Week as a tool to gain momentum to help implement other strategies that will offer a comprehensive approach. The Suicide Prevention Resource Center offers a model that can help you figure out where to start.

[MODEL adapted from SPRC/JED Comprehensive Approach to Suicide Prevention]

In the following 15-minute podcast, I offer the: who, what, when, where, why, how and how much suggestions on how to organize an inspiring, engaging and informative Suicide Awareness and Prevention Week.

What have you done on your campus for Suicide Awareness and Prevention Week? Please share your successful programs.

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