September is National Suicide Prevention Month and Stony Brook has planned a month full of events that help honor those lost to suicide and raise awareness around suicide prevention.
Central to those events is the second annual Walk of Hope on Wednesday, September 18 during Campus Lifetime. Spearheaded by the Center for Prevention and Outreach (CPO), the Walk of Hope is a collaboration between campus departments and student groups intended to raise awareness about depression and suicide, encouraging students who are in need of help to reach out and highlighting the caring network available on campus for those in need.
The event will start at 1 p.m. with a walk around the Academic Mall, followed by a rally in the Student Activities Center’s Sidney Gelber Auditorium where guest speakers, students, faculty and staff will share their experiences about mental health and suicide. Campus and community resources will be tabling at the event to provide information and support to students. A simultaneous march will take place in the Southampton campus, starting at the library. The event will be also streamed through Facebook Live from Stony Brook University’s Facebook account.
Stony Brook offers several health and wellness services to support students’ wellbeing and promote healthy behavior such as animal assisted therapy, counseling and therapy, mindfulness meditation among many others. “We must be able to talk about it, so if someone is struggling, they know they are not alone and there is support and accessible resources” said Dr. Danielle Merolla, CPO’s Assistant Director of Mental Health Outreach and Community Based Interventions.
When asked about the initial goal for programs such as this one, Dr. Merolla said, “Our goal is to support a caring, connected, inclusive, safe, informed and healthy community at Stony Brook. What we do now related to managing stress and being intentional about taking care of our mind and body will support our success academically, our relationships with others and with ourselves.”