Suicide rates are spiking across the United States at an extreme rate. While there’s no single factor that leads to suicide, it does not discriminate, and none of us are immune. In spite of that fact, we’ve placed a negative stigma on the way we think and talk about it. Many people are embarrassed or feel ashamed to speak up and seek help when they are having suicidal thoughts. Texas A&M Student Counseling services is always available to assist, and toward that end, have organized Suicide Awareness Walk #EraseTheStigma.

Santana Simple, Director of Suicide Prevention with Texas A&M Student Counseling Services, says that “The goals of this walk are twofold. It is hard to talk about suicide, and it is important to know that it is fine to do so.” Simple adds that “If you know someone who is struggling with suicide or if you yourself are struggling, there are people not only on the Texas A&M campus  but in the Bryan/College Station community who will give you their unwavering support as well.” Santana then goes on to say that as a community, we have to “erase the stigma that suicide has to be this scary issue that nobody talks about, and one goal of student counseling services is to make suicide prevention the norm.” This walk highlights the BCS community coming together, learning, and honoring those who may have lost their battle with mental illness and suicide.

Texas A&M Student Counseling Services offers an abundance of services for individuals in need or for those who want to recognize the symptoms of anyone suffering from suicidal thoughts. Some of the services include workshops that help individuals manage depression, anxiety, and weariness. They also provide gatekeeper training, which helps you know how to recognize suicidal warning signs, as well as counseling services and group counseling.

On the day of the walk, there will be prizes, games and giveaways for each person who attends. Student Body President Amy Sharp will also be in attendance at the walk to highlight the importance of students taking care of each other and taking time to care for their own mental health. The Suicide Awareness Walk takes place September 19, beginning at 401 Joe Routt Blvd, College Station, Texas and continuing around the perimeter of Texas A&M University. The walk is one to three miles, is self-paced, and will be held from 7:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.