Seawolves Take the Walk of Hope for Suicide Prevention

Over 100 spirited students, faculty, and members of the community gathered at the heart of Stony Brook University’s main campus on Wednesday, September 26 with a march to close out the university’s Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Awareness month. Full hearts and booming voices led the march through campus holding inspiring posters and chanting, “Seawolves, speak up! Reach out! You are NOT alone!” - urging fellow students to reach out about dealing with mental health and get the help they need, a feat often daunting to students struggling with such personal issues.

 

Following the march, the Center for Prevention and Outreach presented an intense performance by SBU’s prevention performance group “Swallow This!” and invited a number of speakers to share their individual battles with mental health and suicide inside the Student Activities Center Auditorium. Moving pieces of writing and deeply personal stories were shared, leaving the audience in attendance heavily impacted with opened minds to the truth about mental health.

 

Progressive initiatives like SBU’s Walk of Hope are important now more than ever before. Universities around the country have put forth programs and organizations to aid those struggling with mental health as it continues to affect students in the ever-increasingly cutthroat world of college and adulthood. Our generation has brought mental health awareness to the forefront of discussion and action, but there is still so much work to be done to grant those dealing with mental health issues proper help and care they need.

Current statistics regarding mentally-struggling students remain very concerning - about 1 in 3 college students currently deal with or have dealt with depression, and suicide is now the second leading cause of death among college age individuals, according to data by SBU Medicine. Individuals are affected in such different ways by mental illness - nearly 1 in 5 adults nationwide struggle in some form. Everyone has their own story to tell, and it is of the utmost importance to be a listener and address what can be done to help. It’s time to rid the stigma behind mental illness, and give to those struggling access to proper care.

“People care, people love, people hope.” - Swallow This!