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It's Suicide Prevention Week at Purdue Fort Wayne

Suicide is the third largest cause of death in the state, and in Allen County suicide rates are on the rise.

Posted: Sep 10, 2018 7:04 PM
Updated: Sep 11, 2018 6:36 AM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT)- Be a hero. Save a life. That's the goal at Purdue Fort Wayne with their suicide prevention week.
This week students will learn how to beat the trend.

"I hope that students walk away with the ability to build a social network that makes them feel not alone," lead peer health educator Jennifer Cole said.

Students are starting the week off with peer to peer education and building connections like Cole mentioned. Cole said starting the conversation and shedding light on this issue is very important, but having the training from the resource fair in the middle of the week to stop it makes it more effective. Faculty member Mary Ross agrees.

"This is just like CPR- suicide prevention and gatekeeper training. You're saving a life doing this training and taking time to learn what the warning signs are and how you can help intervene with someone. It saves a life. That's why we do this," Ross said.

They've set up tables to spread the word.

"Especially since we're a smaller campus, just doing two or three tables it's almost impossible for someone not to walk by them," Juan Bastaodo said.

Those that do, get informed about gatekeeper training which is how to persuade and refer someone to help, and the “Take 5” campaign- which is spreading the message of suicide prevention to 5 five people.

Students who want to learn more on how to help out with this problem are walking away with these cups that are apart of the “Take 5” campaign. In it are resources like the National Suicide Prevention Hotline and also how to recognize warning signs on suicide and other resources to help out in the community.

"It means so much to be that positive bystander, that person that steps in and says 'You know what? I can help this person today.'"

They've realized this isn't only a college student problem.

They've opened it up to the community. Everything is free.

They say the more people they can reach the better the outcome of hopefully saving more lives.

There is a Lunch and Learn event on Tuesday, September 11. "The Language of Suicide" is an interactive presentation to raise awareness of verbal and non-verbal communication, which effects mental health, suicidal thoughts, and the surrounding stigma of suicide. Through conversation, activities, and shared experiences, we can come together to learn how we can make a difference. It is set for noon to 1 p.m. in Rooms 222–226 of Walb Student Union.

A Suicide Prevention Resource Fair is scheduled for Wednesday, September 12 in Walb Student Union from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

There will be two sessions of Project COMPASS (Community Partners Against Student Suicide) Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper Training to round out the week, one on Thursday, September 13. One will also be Friday, September 14. Project COMPASS is a comprehensive suicide prevention and health promotion program on campus, with a mission to provide suicide awareness and gatekeeper education and training all through the campus community. Gatekeeper training involves teaching people how to recognize the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to question, persuade, and refer (QPR) someone to help. The Thursday session will take place in Kettler Hall, Room G83, from 2 to 5 p.m. The second session is scheduled for Friday from 9 a.m. to noon in Walb Union, Room G08. Send an email to to register for training.

Suicide warning signs include:
-Talking about wanting to die
-Talking about being a burden to others
-Looking for a way to kill themselves such as searching online or buying a gun
-Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
-Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
-Acting anxious or behaving recklessly
-Sleeping to little or too much
-Withdrawing or isolating themselves
-Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
-Displaying extreme mood swings
-Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs

Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for the National Suicide Prevention Hotline

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