On Monday March 26, 2018 students found brightly colored yellow ribbons all over campus, in addition to sporting yellow wrist-bands. These ribbons were displayed for Fairfield University’s Suicide Awareness and Prevention day.
Many of Fairfield’s student groups came together in a collaborative effort to raise awareness for such an important topic. Notable groups include: Fairfield University Student Association, Counseling & Psychological Services, National Alliance on Mental Illness, Campus Ministry and the Collegiate Health Services Corp.
“It’s such an important topic to talk about. It seems like everyone knows someone who has been affected by suicide in one way or another, and we should be talking about it more openly,” commented Mary Elisio ‘19, vice president of the Collegiate Health Service Corps.
Tables dedicated to Suicide Awareness & Prevention Day could be found in three different locations throughout campus, at the base of The Daniel and Grace Tully Dining Commons, next to Einstein Bros. Bagels and in the DiMenna-Nyselius Library.
These tables were filled with #YouMatter wristbands as well as multiple pamphlets which covered varying topics from diagnosing depression to some of the resources on campus available to students.
The Collegiate Health Services Corp also provided a fact sheet to students at their table, with information on how to deal with suicide and depression, as well as information on the Counseling & Psychological services center.
Senior Jesse Farrell, president of the Collegiate Health Services Corp., expressed his thoughts on the mission of Suicide Awareness & Prevention Day. “Essentially we want to spread awareness throughout campus… college can be a stressful time so we want students to be informed of all the resources that are available to them,” said Farrell.
Perhaps the biggest attractions at the tables were the therapy dogs. Two out of the three tables featured at least one dog; Dakota could be found in the library location and Summer and Olivia were located next to Einsteins.
“Our efforts here today are focused on preventing suicide and raising awareness for services offered by Fairfield University” said FUSA Chief Justice Matthew Marshall ’19, who could be found handing out wristbands at the Einstein’s location.
Sophomore Lars Erickson contributed to the conversation, “It’s a subject that definitely deserves attention and I think the more we talk about it the better”.
Student traffic was heavy, especially at the Einstein’s table, and multiple pictures were taken with the dogs as well as signs that FUSA members had made for the event. All of these things contribute to the ultimate goal of raising student awareness to such a prevalent topic.
“I am honored to attend a University that promotes suicide prevention and awareness proactively,” stated Maddie Gilbert ‘20 confidently.