Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Mental Health

Be a Friend, Have a #Real Conversation

Recognized nationally as Suicide Prevention Week, Sep. 9 through Sep. 15 serves to raise awareness and guide healthy, nonjudgmental conversations with survivors of suicide or those who have been affected by a loss. The sharing of stories and resources helps to focus efforts on those currently in need of help. Since suicide is commonly seen as a taboo subject, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) aims to normalize language surrounding the topic and break down barriers of societal shame that have been built around it. The voluntary health organization has four core strategies to take action against this leading cause of death. As follows, AFSP promises to fund scientific research, educate the public about mental health and suicide prevention, advocate for public policies in mental health and provide support to those affected in their communities. There are local chapters in all 50 states.

Through the production of the film, It’s Real: College Students and Mental Health, AFSP extended an invitation to collegiate programs to begin participating in conversations surrounding emotional well-being. Florida State University takes on the mission statement of this foundation through its program, NOLES C.A.R.E. Their pledge to the Tallahassee community is to offer a step-by-step process that is accessible to anyone concerned with someone’s mental health. By collaboration between students, faculty and staff, the University provides suicide prevention training to those who want to serve their community and encourage others to seek help. FSU also provides several other resources, such as the University Counseling Center, which is available without cost to all undergraduate students.

There are several ways to take action in your community on behalf of the AFSP to create a sense of connectedness between friends and neighbors, family members or even strangers.

1. Out of the Darkness Campus Walk

Courtesy: AFSP

Universities around the United States are taking part in walks to fight against suicide. As part of AFSP’s fundraising series, these walks ignite conversations about mental health and raise large portions of money for research. You can find out what schools near you are hosting an Out of the Darkness Walk and sign up on the website.

2. Volunteer at a Local Chapter

Courtesy: Unsplash

AFSP offers local chapters and events to bring communities together. By joining a local chapter, students can be a part of on or off-campus organizations that create a culture more educated about mental health.

3. Give a Gift

Courtesy: Unsplash

You can make a difference by visiting asfp.org and gifting donations to participants involved in the program or to give in memory of someone no longer here.

4. Visit the Counseling Center

Courtesy: Military OneSource

As part of a variety of mental health resources offered on campus, students can schedule appointments with their university’s counseling center and receive free professional help. Sometimes starting a conversation is all it takes.

In loving memory of Tom O’Hare

Brooke is a senior at FSU pursuing an Editing, Writing and Media degree with a minor in Psychology. She has a passion for working within her community as an Enrichment Tutor for young children. Brooke hopes to become published in an accredited magazine with an eye-catching editorial piece one day. Check out @dixon_brooke12 on Twitter for more!
Similar Reads👯‍♀️