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New committee focuses on mental health

ASWSU holds events during Suicide Prevention Week

Hannah+Donnelly%2C+left%2C+and+Shelby+Stanwood%2C+president+and+treasurer+of+To+Write+Love+on+Her+Arms%2C+sell+cupcakes+on+Wednesday+to+raise+money+for+suicide+prevention.
Hannah Donnelly, left, and Shelby Stanwood, president and treasurer of To Write Love on Her Arms, sell cupcakes on Wednesday to raise money for suicide prevention.

Hannah Donnelly, left, and Shelby Stanwood, president and treasurer of To Write Love on Her Arms, sell cupcakes on Wednesday to raise money for suicide prevention.

CODY COTTIER | The Daily Evergreen

CODY COTTIER | The Daily Evergreen

Hannah Donnelly, left, and Shelby Stanwood, president and treasurer of To Write Love on Her Arms, sell cupcakes on Wednesday to raise money for suicide prevention.

MEGAN SANTEE, Evergreen reporter

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This week ASWSU has held a series of events to raise awareness about suicide prevention in hopes of contributing to ending the stigma that surrounds mental health issues. The purpose of Suicide Prevention Week is to remind anyone who may be struggling they are not alone in the way they are feeling.

The university has been taking steps to allocate more focus and finances toward mental health awareness this semester. A great deal of this can be credited to the new ASWSU Executive Board under the presidency of Jordan Frost.

New to the university this year is the Mental Health Committee. This is a subcommittee under ASWSU Director of Health and Safety Tyler O’Brien.

The vice president of this committee, Regan Donaldson, spoke briefly about how as a committee, ASWSU is hoping to use resources to create all new campaigns. These will be surrounding various mental health topics in hopes of keeping the conversation going all year long.

CODY COTTIER | The Daily Evergreen
Shelby Stanwood, president and treasurer of To Write Love on Her Arms, raises awareness for the vigil Thursday.

ASWSU will figure out the main responsibilities of this committee in the months ahead. This will be the primary focus of the committee as Suicide Prevention Week concludes.

“The purpose is to break mental health stigma and make a more welcoming place on campus,” Donaldson said.

With events hosted Monday through Thursday, each day has a specific focus. The theme for Wednesday’s events was ‘acceptance’. From 12 – 3 p.m. on the Mall, To Write Love on Her Arms, organized a tabling event where members of the club sold cupcakes for charity.

TWLOHA is a non-profit organization with the goal of providing hope for people who are struggling with issues such as depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. All of the proceeds made from this event were donated directly toward suicide prevention charities.

During the tabling, various resources were available for students to get involved in the remainder of events scheduled this week. This also gave an opportunity for students to learn how to get involved through the year. This could be through working with WSU’s chapter of TWLOHA, or suicide prevention workshops offered through Health and Wellness.

To close the week of awareness, a workshop on mindfulness will be available in Chinook Student Center, Room 25 at 6 p.m. followed by a candlelight vigil at 7 p.m. today at Thompson Flats.

“The vigil is to honor those who have lost their lives to suicide,” Donaldson said.

In line with ASWSU’s priority to keep a central focus on mental health, WSU’s Interfraternity Council, Panhellenic Council and United Greek Association will host a suicide prevention speaker Sept. 26 from 7 – 8 p.m. in Todd Auditorium.

Editor’s note: The article was revised to clarify the suicide prevention speaker event is hosted by IFC, Panhellenic Council and UGA, not ASWSU.

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