Suicidal thoughts, much like mental health conditions, can affect anyone regardless of age, gender or background. More than 41,000 individuals die by suicide each year, leaving behind their friends and family members to navigate the tragedy of loss. Too often, the feelings of shame and stigma prevent them from talking openly about their feelings.
This week, OTC’s Phi Theta Kappa chapter Alpha Psi Tau is hosting a series of events to shed light on this stigmatized topic. The chapter’s goal is to reach out to those affected by suicide, raise awareness, and connect people to treatment services.
A Safe Place in the Storm: Suicide Awareness and Prevention Week
To kick off the week, Phi Theta Kappa students will unveil a 3-D art instillation in the Jared Family Atrium on Monday, Nov. 5. The piece will change over the course of the week. Suicide awareness and prevention resources will also be on display in the Hamra Family Library Monday through Friday.
On Tuesday Nov. 6, local speaker Mary Jane Holmes will speak of her experiences as a mother of someone who chose suicide. The event will be held at 11 a.m. in the Board of Trustees conference room, located on the second floor of the Information Commons building.
Legacy Tattoo artists will be in the Jared Family Atrium on Wednesday, Nov. 7 to help raise awareness about suicide prevention. Students can receive free, non-permanent tattoos drawn with Sharpie pens by the tattoo artists. OTC Counseling Services staff will also be on hand to discuss the mental health resources available to students and the campus community.
On Thursday, Nov. 8, local speaker Kathy Davis will share her experiences as the mother of a veteran who chose suicide. The event will be held at 11 a.m. in the Board of Trustees conference room.
To wrap up the week, Phi Theta Kappa students will host an all-day screening of the film, “The Ripple Effect,” on Friday, Nov. 9 in the Information Commons East building, room 123C. The event will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Counselors will also be on hand at the event to meet with students and answer their questions.
For more information about A Safe Place in the Storm: Suicide Awareness and Prevention Week, contact Steve Fritts, PTK chapter advisor, at firstname.lastname@example.org.