National week aims to raise suicide awareness to college students

Florida A&M University’s Office of Counseling Services hosted events September 6 – 12 in recognition of Suicide Prevention Week.

Purple and teal ribbons were on display to raise awareness for suicide prevention and to celebrate the efforts of health officials and volunteers.

“Our goal is to make students aware that suicide is in the African American community and that we are here to provide the assistance they need to overcome any problems they may have,” said Yolanda K.H. Bogan, director of counseling services.

The Office of Counseling Services, known as Sunshine Manor, sits between Black Archives and Gore Education Complex across from Tucker Hall.    

College can bring a plethora of stress on a student’s life and this is why most universities provide counseling centers.

According to the American College Health Association, there are approximately 1,100 college suicides annually. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among college students and the third leading cause of death among black youth ages 10 to 19.

“We want students to love themselves and learn positive behaviors to focus on their future,” Bogan said.

The faculty and staff provide a professional, confidential atmosphere where students can discuss academic and personal issues.

Services are free to enrolled FAMU students.

Each semester students are given 12 sessions to discuss areas of concern like roommates, relationships, study skills, procrastination, depression, and test anxiety.

“Students should be aware that it doesn’t have to be a major problem to see us. It helps to have someone to talk to,” Bogan said.

Black females are more likely to attempt suicide while black men are more likely to commit suicide.

Suicide is the third leading cause of death among black men ages 15 to 24 according to the American Association of Suicidology.

According to assistant director of clinical programs, Allison Lockard, signs of suicide include, talking about death, change in behavior, substance abuse, feeling trapped and low self-esteem.

Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. It often results in psychological and emotional trauma for family and friends.

30,000 deaths from suicide occur each year in the United States.

“We want to bring awareness to students who believe there is no way out. We are here to be a support system,” Lockward said.

The purpose of the National Suicide Prevention week is to encourage people to not be afraid to talk about it.

“I have not been effected by suicide, but I thinks its great that the counselors of Sunshine Manor is bringing it to the attention of [the] student body. This could save a life,” said Dwayne Rogers, 26, a third-year pharmacy from Washington.
Friday, the Office of Counseling Services will be on The Set distributing prevention information on suicide, depression and resources available.