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Suicide Awareness Week Observed April 21-15 at Appalachian State University

Students, faculty and staff at Appalachian State University and community members will join together April 21–25 in a week dedicated to remember those lost to suicide and prevent further losses.

Appalachian’s Counseling and Psychological Services Center, including Suicide Prevention Coordinator Elisabeth Cavallaro, and students representing student government, Greek life, the National Alliance on Mental Illness and other groups have planned a variety of events to mark the week.

Campus activities include suicide prevention training for students, faculty and staff. Sessions will be held April 21 from 10 a.m. to noon in Plemmons Student Union’s Three Top Mountain room and April 22 from 2 to 4 p.m. in Beacon Heights Room. A kickoff event Tuesday, April 21, beginning at 4 p.m., will include prizes awarded to the group with the highest completion rate of online suicide prevention training.

Events open to the public include the Together We Rise celebration of community on Sanford Mall April 21 from5–8 p.m. The event will include refreshments, music, volleyball, cornhole tie-dye and speakers.

“Connection is an important factor in mental health, and this event will give students a great reason to leave their dorm rooms and interact with their fellow students in a positive, uplifting way,” Cavallaro said.

Also open to the public is the movie “To Write Love on Her Arms” will be shown Wednesday, April 22, at 6 p.m. in Belk Library Room 114. The film depicts the story of a young woman battling bipolar disorder, addiction and self-harm. It follows her struggle to get clean and sober enough to enter rehab, as well as her realistically imperfect recovery. A panel discussion featuring professionals and students will follow the screening.

An opportunity to remember those lost will take place Thursday from 6:30 to 9 p.m. during Suicide Remembrance Night held on Sanford Mall. The evening will include speakers and the  making of a “String of Hope,” composed of personalized message cards featuring purple mental illness awareness ribbons strung between trees on campus.

Saturday morning’s capstone event is the Out of the Darkness Campus Walk, a fundraising event for Appalachian and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.  Although fundraising is encouraged, participation in the walk is free, and community members are invited and encouraged to attend.  Registration begins at 8 a.m.Saturday, April 25, on Sanford Mall.

For more information on any of these events, contact Elisabeth Cavallaro at 828-262-7326 orcavallaroe@appstate.edu or visit http://preventsuicide.appstate.edu/index.php?module=pagesmith&uop=view_page&id=19.