Suicide is the second leading cause of death for college students between the ages of 18 and 24, but Fresno State officials want students to know that it is 100 percent preventable.
University Health and Psychological Services observes National Suicide Prevention Week Sept. 9-13 with a week of activities designed to enhance awareness of the Student Health Center’s suicide prevention program.
Starting10:30 a.m. Monday in the Free Speech Area, the week includes training sessions, the release of a new video, and a resource fair with campus and community resource organizations.
Events also include the presentation of “The Matthew Beggs Story,” 2 p.m. Sept. 12 in the Henry Madden Library, room 2206. Matthew was a student at Fresno City College when he committed suicide in 2004. His father, Patrick, will discuss his experience and how to help a potential suicide victim save his or her life. A panel discussion follows the presentation at 3 p.m.
Funded by the California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA) and Prop 63, Fresno State received a two-year grant focused on suicide prevention and early intervention. Through this grant, program staff have built six new programs focused on suicide awareness, misconceptions, mental illness and general help-seeking behavior.
The program also produced the video, Survivors: Hope & Healing, featuring local suicide survivors sharing their experiences. The video, streaming now on YouTube, will be featured on the California Mental Health Services Authority website’s Each Mind Matters, California’s mental health movement.
Other events include information tables Monday, Tuesday and Thursday promoting an awareness of suicide and its prevention. A campus/community resource fair on Thursday will include Fresno Survivors of Suicide Loss, Central Valley Suicide Prevention Hotline, VA and Psychological Services.
The Question, Persuade & Refer training will help students, staff and faculty learn to recognize and respond to the warning signs of suicide. It covers common misconceptions about suicide, warning signs, risk factors, how to talk about suicide, how to persuade someone to get help and how to refer them to campus and community resources.
Two sessions are scheduled: 3:30 – 5 p.m. Sept. 10 and 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sept. 13, both in the Madden Library room 2206. Because seats are limited advance registration is required by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, contact Melissa Watkins, suicide prevention program coordinator, at 559.278.1023.