More than 1,100 college students nationwide lost their lives to suicide last year.
To combat the statistics, San Diego State University will host events on campus to raise awareness about suicide prevention on Oct. 1.
The effort is a California State University-wide initiative thanks to a grant from Proposition 63 — which provides increased funding, personnel and other resources to support county mental health programs. The initiatives of the grant are focused on suicide prevention, stigma reduction and peer-to-peer support
SDSU Counseling and Psychological Services will table and host a candlelight vigil to honor victims of suicide and encourage dialogue to prevent suicides.
"As part of our ongoing suicide prevention efforts on campus, we are joining together with colleges across the state of California to bring awareness to our students and cultivate a sense of community and solidarity," said Elizabeth Kingsbury, a psychologist for SDSU's Counseling and Psychological Services.
Counseling and Psychological Services will be stationed throughout Campanile Walkway providing information on the warning signs of suicide and suicide prevention.
There will also be 1,100 graduation hats spread out through the walkway to represent those who did not reach graduation.
"Our goals for these events are for students to learn the warning signs of suicide, acknowledge those who have been impacted by suicide or other mental health issues and leave the event feeling both equipped and motivated to reach out to support other students in the future," Kingsbury said.
Students, faculty, staff and members of the community are invited to light a candle for people who have been impacted by suicide, trauma and mental health issues. Participants will have the opportunity to make caring, supporting and remembering statements.
The candlelight vigil began at San Jose State University last year, and this year more than 20 colleges across the state will host the same event on Oct. 1.
The tabling will run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Oct. 1., and will be located throughout Campanile Walkway.
The candlelight vigil will run from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m, Oct. 1, and will take place between Adams Humanities and the Open Air Theater.
Both events are free and open to the public.
Warning signs of suicide include hopelessness, withdrawal, depression and/or sudden mood changes, anger and changes in behavior. Learn more about the signs at www.suicideispreventable.org. If you are concerned about yourself or someone you know, help is available.
SDSU Counseling and Psychological Services offers individual and group counseling to SDSU students, as well as consultation and support to faculty, family members and friends with concerns about SDSU students. Counselors can be reached by calling 619-594-5220, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For after-hours concerns, the San Diego Access and Crisis Line is available 24/7 at 888-724-7240.