The sixth annual Walk of Hope on Wednesday, September 27, drew more than 500 student, staff and faculty participants who gathered together to encourage students who are in need of help to reach out.
Hosted by the Center for Prevention and Outreach (CPO) to raise mental health awareness during National Suicide Prevention Month, the event highlighted awareness surrounding depression and suicide, helped to further eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health and connected students with on- and off-campus resources.
Students held signs with messages such as ‘You’re Enough,’ ‘Love Yourself’ and ‘You Matter.’ “At times, the challenges of being a student can become increasingly hard to navigate and can lead to feelings of distress and thoughts of self-harm,” said Melissa Woody, collegiate outreach coordinator for the Center for Prevention and Outreach. “We want to ensure that all students, faculty and staff are aware of the risk factors, warning signs, and resources available to anyone experiencing a mental health crisis.”
Students now have access to 24/7, no-cost virtual mental health care and on-demand wellness resources through TimelyCare, in which licensed mental health providers provide care via phone or secure video to support students with any mental health concern.
Help is also available through Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), and in the case of an emergency, community members should contact the CAPS Crisis Line at 855-509-5742 or the University Police at 911 from a campus phone; (631) 632-3333 from a cell phone.
“It is okay not to be okay, but it is not okay to not get the support we deserve. It is our continued mission to facilitate connection, foster resilience and heighten self and community awareness,” said Woody.