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Student organization hosts Out of the Darkness campus walk

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The Nicholls psychology club is hosting an Out of the Darkness campus walk to bring awareness to suicide and depression.

Proceeds will go to the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention (AFSP), which will allow them to invest in new research, create educational programs, advocate for public policy and support survivors of suicide loss.

Suicide claims more lives than war, murder and other natural disasters each year. Brandon Bergeron, a senior psychology major from Houma and president of the psychology club, explained the importance of bringing awareness to this mental health issue.

“So many people suffer from depression and it is an ongoing condition,” Bergeron said. “It affects everyone, either male or female, high IQ or low IQ, in a relationship or out of a relationship. There is not a direct cause to depression. It can happen to anyone.”

Bergeron explained suicide is the second leading cause of death in children from ages 10-14. Suicide is the third leading cause of death for people ages 15-34.

“It is important that we bring awareness because college students are in the ages of 15-34. College is a time of transition,” Bergeron said.

Representatives from AFSP will be present at the event to hand out wristbands and water bottles. This foundation’s mission is to save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide. They also want to reduce the annual suicide rate in the United States by 20 percent by 2025.

According to ASFP depression, bipolar, anxiety disorder and other mental health conditions will affect one in four people, and yet too often these illnesses go untreated. In the United States alone, someone attempts suicide every minute. Bergeron explained that many college students have depressive symptoms that are not diagnosed because they refuse to get tested.

There will be a suicide hotline table at the campus walk for anyone who has questions. KNSU will also be present.

Bergeron explained how to handle friends and family that are affected by depression.

“The best thing you can do if your friend or family member is affected by depression is to ask them to go for a walk with you. That gets more chemicals moving in the body and in the brain,” said Bergeron.

The walk will take place on April 9 outside of Ayo Hall from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. It will be two miles around campus and is open to both students and the public.
Donations will be accepted. The psychology club raised $451 so far and is looking to raise at least $1500. Donations will be accepted through June 30.
Registration begins at 7 a.m. on the day of the walk or you can register online at http://goo.gl/z9xFak.

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The student newspaper of Nicholls State University
Student organization hosts Out of the Darkness campus walk