MUNCIE, Ind. -- A few weeks ago, yellow pinwheels and yard signs decorated the lawn of the Art and Journalism building. These weren't just for show; they’re for National Suicide Prevention Week and National Suicide Prevention Day.
September is National Suicide Prevention Month, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
According to the CDC, in 2021, suicide was responsible for over 48,000 deaths. The CDC also says that the data from 2022 show that suicide deaths increased by 2.6% between 2021 and 2022.
“Last year I just felt like we needed to be doing some mental health education on campus,” Destiny Cherry, health and wellness coordinator at the Health Center said. “And knowing that suicide is a really stigmatized topic...it’s really tough to talk about."
There was also a meaning behind the color of the pinwheels.
“Yellow has historically been one of the colors that represent suicide awareness, also like blue, purple and like teal and purple,” Cherry said. “But we usually recognize those colors with some of the other things we do in our office, so we were like ‘We’re going to do the yellow ones. It’s a little more attention-grabbing as well.’”
The goal was to provide awareness for mental health resources on campus.
“I think there is always room for mental health, and I think that students want to talk about mental health,” Cherry said.
There are many mental health resources on campus for students, including the Health Promotion and Advocacy Office and the Counseling Center.
“With us being a health promotion office, I feel like it’s our job to talk about suicide in addition to the counseling center. We work very closely to do these things every year,” Cherry said. “But suicide prevention isn’t just talking about mental health. It’s also talking about basic means.”
For more information on the Health Promotion and Advocacy office, you can visit them in the Health Center in Room 201.
Contact Emma Matlock with comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.