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Student volunteers distribute literature on suicide prevention outside Dillon Hall.Student volunteers distribute literature on suicide prevention outside Dillon Hall.

Activities to observe Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

Activities in the student centre on Tuesday, Sept. 10, will focus on how to support mental health and ask for help, in observance of World Suicide Prevention Day.

“Our hope for this day is to show togetherness on campus, and to let students know they are not alone,” says Ashley Vodarek, mental health and wellness co-ordinator.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., students, faculty, and staff can visit a table in the CAW Student Centre to learn about the many supports and services available, sign the suicide prevention flag, and write a message for the Tree of Hope.

Information about suicide prevention — including key resources to access — will be provided by representatives of the Wellness Outreach Office, Canadian Mental Health Association, Peer Support Centre, Sexual Misconduct and Prevention Office, and student groups such as Jack.org UWindsor and the Mental Health Awareness Group.

At 6 p.m. in Alumni Auditorium, a free public screening will feature the film The Ripple Effect, the story of a man whose extraordinary journey inspires hope across the world.

Suicide prevention and awareness efforts extend through the month. On Sunday, Sept. 29, the University of Windsor will join the community in the Canadian Mental Health Association’s annual Suicide Prevention Awareness Month Walk. Lancer Recreation, Residence Life, and the Wellness Outreach Office have partnered to provide a bus to offer free transportation to and from the walk located at St. Clair College Sportsplex. To sign up for the bus, pre-register for the walk, or find driving instructions to the St. Clair College Sportsplex, visit the event website.

“Talking about suicide can be scary,” says Jenessa Shaw, wellness assistant in the Wellness Outreach Office and a Peer Support Centre volunteer. “Bringing the community together to talk about suicide in a fun and engaging way will hopefully break down some of the barriers to talking about such a serious topic.”

Vodarek reminds anyone wrestling with thoughts of self-harm that “help is only one call away.”

Resources include:

  • National Suicide Prevention Hotline, 1-833-4566
  • Community Crisis Centre, 519-973-4435
  • Student Counselling Centre in the student centre offers free counselling to all University of Windsor students.

For more suicide prevention information and resources, contact Vodarek at ashley.vodarek@uwindsor.ca, 519-253-3000 ext. 4632.