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Psychology club holds suicide prevention events

May 8, 2018

Nicholls Psychology Club helped to raise awareness of mental health and suicide prevention last week through events like a Safe Talk and a bake sale for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP).

Psychology Club President Taylor Rodrigue said that the bake sale table served to make both mental health awareness and suicide prevention more conversable.

“When we first started tabling…as soon as we’d say ‘Money goes to suicide prevention,’ we’d actually see people walk away,” Rodrigue said. “Now people are actually engaging in the table, asking for information, and we’ve had actually a few people tell us their own personal stories.”

All proceeds from the bake sale went to the AFSP.

Representatives from the AFSP hosted a Safe Talk for students on May 1 in the Lafitte Room of the Student Union. Rodrigue said that the representatives discussed the importance of recognizing potential signs of suicide and that the discussion was “raw.”

“They told us the different signs, so every time somebody is considering suicide, there is always a sign. It’s very very rare that there will ever not be a sign. The main thing to do, as awkward as it may seem, is if you recognize the sign and you seriously are worried about it, you need to straight up ask,” Rodrigue said.

Rodrigue said that it is important to be there for people who may be considering suicide and to redirect them to a source that can help them. The University Counseling Center and police station are two sources on campus available to Nicholls students.

“At our university, a source of help would be our University Counseling Center for sure, and after hours you can actually call University PD and they will take care of the situation until the on-call counselor can get to you,” Rodrigue said.

In addition to these events, the organization is set to host a suicide prevention walk on May 13 called the Out of Darkness Walk.

Raising awareness of mental health and suicide is important because the research surrounding it is growing, she said. It has become a more acceptable topic to discuss.

“Mental health is a field that there is more research every day. It’s growing so much that we need to be able to talk about it. It is normal not to be ok because the thing about a lot of mental health is that it’s truly out of the person’s control,” Rodrigue said. “It’s more acceptable to understand. It’s out of your control, and we’re here to help.”

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