Skip to main content

#StopTheStigma aims to increase conversation about suicide on campus

During the month of September, NC State will actively observe World Suicide Prevention Month. On September 10th, National Alliance on Mental Illness(NAMI) at NC State and the NC State Counseling Center will host the 5th Annual Candlelight Vigil at Wolf Plaza.

The event will mark the premiere of a film produced by the Counseling Center that emphasizes the importance of suicide prevention awareness on campus as part of their #StoptheStigma campaign. Here, and in the broader culture, the issue of suicide is considered taboo. It’s also an issue that continues to affect students in the Wolfpack community but often, students are ashamed to discuss their struggles and to seek necessary support. The film depicts the personal experiences of NC State students, providing an opportunity for students to see and hear their peers–people they can identify with–speaking openly and without shame about how they’ve been suicidal, sought help, and ultimately persevered through their struggles.

At the heart of NC State’s efforts to raise awareness about suicide prevention is QPR suicide prevention training. QPR training prepares students, faculty and staff to recognize the warning signs of suicide and helps to create a culture of openness and support around issues of mental health. Additional resources can be found at NC State Violence Prevention and Threat Management and the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Both work to address the mental health needs of the NC State population.

NC State’s Mental Health Ambassador program will also be highlighted. Seeking to reduce stigma and create a campus of support through psycho-education, undergraduate and graduate students with a passion for mental health awareness and wellness education work to decrease the stigma surrounding mental health, help seeking, and self care through peer-to-peer education.

Each day we walk beside people from diverse backgrounds, and our differences may seem stark. But just as pronounced are our commonalities. Seated beside us in classrooms, or on the bus, or in the stands of Carter Finley are people experiencing the same human emotions: anxiety before an exam; frustration when we’re running late; elation, when our team wins. Next week’s vigil is an opportunity to demonstrate our unity, and to break down the barriers that prevent students from seeking the support they need.