With the shift to in-person classes, on top of pre-existing stressors for students (ex: homework, family issues, student debt), Bradley’s chapter of Active Minds is working to raise awareness for student mental health with several events throughout September, which is known as Suicide Awareness Month.
“Mental health is very important for college students to understand, especially with statistical evidence that college students are more likely to struggle with mental health issues and not seek help from resources available to them on campus,” Kailan Bargado, president of Bradley’s Active Minds chapter and senior nursing major, said.
During Suicide Prevention Week, Sept. 5-11, the Active Minds chapter planned three events to bring awareness to mental health and emphasize its importance for every student.
On Sept. 5, the group set up a table in the Michel Student Center. The event lasted two hours, with pamphlets being handed out to different groups of people who may need help. The pamphlets contained information about people in the LGBTQ+ community, military and college students.
On Wednesday, Active Minds hosted an open mental health storytelling event, allowing people from across campus to have a platform to tell their stories related to mental health.
“The goal of the event happening tonight is for people to de-stress and feel validated that others have the same frustrations and anxiety about certain subjects that they do,” Gabrielle Necastro, community and fundraising chair for the chapter, said prior to the event. “It’s meant to alleviate a person’s stress levels and hopefully find new coping mechanisms they didn’t have before.”
According to Necastro, sophomore management and leadership major, the chapter developed the event so students can vent and be validated about their feelings when they realize that other students might be struggling with the same emotions.
The Active Minds chapter has received an uptick in student attendance this year compared to last year’s event, since it was held over Zoom.
“We feel that it is crucial to provide information on suicide prevention on college campuses to ensure students are receiving adequate information on how to help themselves and others who may be struggling,” Bargado said.
Today, the chapter will be handing out mental health awareness ribbons on Olin Quad.
If you or someone you know has mental health struggles or suicidal thoughts, contact Bradley counseling services at (309) 677-3200 or go to Markin Center room 52, located in the basement.
National Suicide Hotline: (800) 273-8255
National Sexual Assault Hotline: (800) 656-4673
S.A.F.E. (Self Abuse Finally Ends): (800) DONT-CUT / (800) 366-8288
GriefShare: (800) 385-5755