YPSILANTI – Each year in the United States, approximately 1,100 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die by suicide. The stigma surrounding mental illness has been cited as a major reason why students don’t seek the help they need.
Members of the Eastern Michigan University campus community and others from the surrounding community have the opportunity to make powerful strides for suicide prevention and mental health awareness during the second annual SAFE Now Walk for Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Awareness, to be held from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Friday, October 5 on the EMU campus.
The "Out of Darkness Community Walk," takes place at 4 p.m. around the lakes adjoining Bob's Lakehouse next to the EMU Student Center. The walk is organized through the university's suicide prevention grant, partnering with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
Michigan Congresswoman Debbie Dingell will be on hand to help lead the walk and offer support and remarks. Dingell represents the 12th District of Michigan in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Participants can register onsite before the walk begins. Starting time is 4 p.m. at Bob's Lakehouse on the EMU campus.
“We will be walking to increase awareness surrounding suicide prevention, to reduce the stigma and fear around mental illness, and to remind those suffering that someone cares,” said Ellen Gold, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students at Eastern.
EMU's Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) and the EMU SAFE Now Suicide Prevention Program are teaming with a number of student organizations, such as Active Minds, Students for Recovery and Student Government to host the walk.
Gold said, "It is important to create a comfortable campus climate for open conversation with and among students in order to increase the number of students who seek help, as well as increase the number of students, faculty and staff who can recognize and respond to those experiencing mental health distress."
Anyone interested in volunteering or wanting more information should contact Tanya McCune, the SAFE Now Walk Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Eastern Michigan University
Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 19,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Health and Human Services; Technology, and its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.