August 31, 2020

SIU recognizes September as Suicide Prevention Month

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — In recognition of Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Wellness and Health Promotion Services is sponsoring a variety of special events for the campus community in September.

The focus is on helping students – as well as faculty and staff – be mentally healthy and cope with stress and problems they are experiencing.

To contain the spread of COVID-19 and in compliance with state and local guidelines, some of the programming will be online and interactive via Zoom. Other events are limited to the first 50 people to register. Everything is free.

Workshops planned

Several workshops are planned including:

  • “Talk Saves Lives.” Participants will learn in Zoom workshops the risk factors and warning signs for suicide; how to keep themselves and others safe, the latest information on suicide prevention and more.
  • “Resilience: I May Bend but I Will Not Break.” In these Zoom workshops, participants will have an opportunity to learn about the characteristics of highly resilient people and ways to become more resilient. The workshop will help participants discover their strengths and areas of resilience they can work on.

Mindfulness class

A four-week Koru Mindfulness class will offer proven techniques for reducing stress, self-critical thoughts and improved sleep quality.  The class is particularly geared toward college students and young adults, and will meet in the Student Health Center’s Dawg Lounge from 2 to 3:30 p.m. on Fridays from Sept. 11 to Oct. 2. Sign up is online.

Open House

An open house from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., Sept. 15 in the Dawg Lounge will give everyone the opportunity to experience the special rest and relaxation area created especially for students. The lounge features a massage chair, water features, yoga mats, meditation cushions, massage room featuring self-massage tools and massage mat, a stress lab offering light therapy and biofeedback and a “Blue Space,” complete with an ocean theme based on the Blue Mind theory.

Fresh Check

Fresh Check Day, an uplifting suicide prevention and mental health event for colleges from the Jordon Porco Foundation is going virtual in 2020. Set for noon and 6 p.m. on Sept. 24, there will be interactive online expo booths and peer-to-peer messaging. The goal is to help connect students with available mental health resources on campus and erase the stigma of seeking help.

Film viewing

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s documentary “It’s Real: College Students and Mental Health” will air at 6 p.m. Sept. 30. The movie, featuring the stories of six college students in America, highlights mental health issues common to university students. Registration to attend the documentary is now open.

For more information about Wellness and Health Promotion Services or any of the Suicide Prevention Awareness Month activities, email or call 618/536-4441.