For the first time Citrus College hosted a Suicide Prevention Day to help encourage students in a free environment to get things off their chest, openly support one another and celebrate past lives.
Alejandra Morales, president of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and ASCC Commissioner of Activities, teamed up with mental health counselor Monica Christianson and the Student Health Center to provide students with an opportunity to face the sensitive issue.
A billboard with the words NOT ALONE on it was placed next to the information table in the Citrus College campus center mall where students could write down anything they wanted on post-it notes and stick it on the board.
“I want students to see that everyone goes through things and it’s something we can’t avoid.” Morales said, “When they see the post-it notes they’ll realize that they’re not alone.”
Although the post-it notes were anonymous, which allowed students to express themselves freely, the support students expressed for one another throughout the day was inspiring. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. students lined up at the table, sharing each other’s pain and understanding one another’s emotions.
According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention over 36,000 people die due to suicide each year. And this number just keeps rising.
Local health facilities such as, Aurora Behavioral Health Care, LA County Mental Health and Pacific Clinics set up booths to show their support and offer their services. The Student Health Center showed their support at the event as well by handing out pamphlets and flyers describing the different services the health center has to offer to students.
“We wanted to do this to bring in the students,” Christianson said, “partly because the health center is sometimes a forgotten place and we wanted to collaborate with local community resources to help in any way we can.”
Suicide Prevention Day was stepping stone for ASCC and the Health Center. Their collaborative effort inspired a student body to face a sensitive issue with compassion and understanding for one another.