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Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Counseling Center bringing suicide awareness to campus

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Sarah Harlan
Administrative Associate
News & Information Services
812/465-7005
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Did you know suicide is the third leading cause of death among 15 to 24 year olds?

"College students are considered a high-risk for suicide," Leslie Smith, assistant director in the University of Southern Indiana Counseling Center, said. "Many are attending college for the first time, they've left their homes, families, and friends, and have no experience in dealing with stress. This is a transition phase with big changes. It sometimes becomes too overwhelming for students."

September is suicide awareness prevention month, and the USI Counseling Center is encouraging all students, faculty, and staff to get involved. The Counseling Center has several events planned to promote awareness in the USI community about the issue of suicide.

September 6 through 9 is USI CARES (Creating Awareness and Readiness for Everyone's Safety) Week, during which the Counseling Center has partnered with other campus organizations to raise awareness of health and safety resources for students as they transition to university life.

The Make the First Move: Dance-Off will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on September 7 in the University Center East Amphitheater to raise awareness of the Make the First Move campaign. "Make the First Move is a call for students to step up and make the first move if they see something bad happening to someone," Smith said. "We all need to look out for one another."

During World Suicide Prevention Day on September 9, the Counseling Center will have an information table at the UC Link from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. where they will provide yellow ribbons for suicide awareness and resources on how students, faculty, and staff can help prevent suicide.

It Gets Better: LGBT Suicide Prevention will take place at 9:30 p.m. on September 9 in Rice Library, room 0012 and at 3 p.m. September 29 in UC 2207. "Young people who identify as a sexual minority are at an increased risk for depression and suicide,," Smith said.

"We need to constantly be aware of signs of suicide," Smith said. Although the month of September is designated to this cause, the Counseling Center educates on this issue all year."

For more information on suicide prevention, visit USI's Counseling Center in the Orr Center, room 1051, call 812/464-1867, or visit their web site at http://www.usi.edu/counselingcenter/default.aspx.



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