The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention puts it bluntly:
“Suicide is a serious public health problem …and is a leading cause of death” in the United States.
How bad is it? There is a suicide in the United States every 11 minutes according to the CDC. For military veterans, the statistics are grimmer – veterans have an adjusted suicide rate that is 52 percent greater than the civilian population.
That’s why Pensacola State College will start its September observance of Suicide Prevention Month with a veterans-sponsored suicide awareness walk on Thursday, Sept. 1, on the Pensacola campus track.
The PSC Veteran Student Success Center and PSC Student Veterans Association are two of the sponsoring organizations for the “Be the Light, Walk to Fight” Walk which will honor those lost to suicide, as well as survivors and loved ones, and people struggling with suicidal thoughts and urges. Florida Veterans Support Line is the other event sponsor.
“Student veterans are nontraditional students and they come with stressors they have from the military,’’ said Tanya Brashers, Program Coordinator of the PSC Veteran Student Success Center. “We want them to know there is support not only on campus, but there are community resources and help available also.”
Brashers urges participants to walk a mile on the track and write a message of home in chalk to inspire others. Various suicide prevention, mental health and veterans’ groups will have information and resource booths at the event.
Participants are invited to come walk between 8-11 a.m. at the track. The event will be followed by a PSC Student Veterans Association barbecue cookout from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Other PSC Suicide Prevention Month events:
Virtual Free and Confidential Mental Health Screenings
Available all month
Click on “Self-Evaluator” for screening options
Featured Speaker Jessi Beyer
How to Safely and Successfully Support Someone Who’s Struggling with Their Mental Health
Sept. 8, 11 a.m.
World Suicide Prevention Day
Sept. 10, 8 p.m.
Light a candle near a window at 8 p.m. to show your support for suicide prevention, to remember a lost loved one and for survivors of suicide
Mental Health Awareness Booths
Sept. 1: 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Pensacola campus Student Center, Building 5
Sept. 7: 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Warrington campus, Building 3700
Sept. 21: 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Pensacola campus, Building 21
Sept. 25: 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Milton campus, Building 4200
“The S Word” documentary screenings
Hear stories of people with lived experiences. Join us for a screening and panel discussion to open the conversation about suicide and suicide prevention.
Sept 13: 6-8:30 p.m., Century Center
Sept. 15: 11:30 a.m. -2 p.m. Milton campus, Building 4200
Campus Connect Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper Training
Sept. 30: 9 a.m.-noon.
Come learn the warning signs for someone at risk for suicide and how to help them. Participants are expected to be fully engaged in the training for the entire three-hour training session.