Bobcats show support for suicide awareness

Junior Aubrey Jackson helps a fellow OU student show their support for the campaign. Jackson is a member of the Psychology club and is earning a minor in the subject.

Junior Aubrey Jackson helps a fellow OU student show his support for the campaign. Jackson is a member of the Psychology Club and is earning a minor in the subject. photo courtesy of Will Gibbs.

On Wednesday, two Ohio University organizations collaborated on a project to bring awareness about a minimally discussed issue: suicide.

The Bobcats for Suicide Prevention Campaign (BSPC) and OU’s Psychology club co-hosted “To Write Love on Her Arms” (TWLOHA), a nationally renowned event designed to raise awareness about the threats of suicide to Ohio University students and the Athens community.

“We want students to take care of each other, and one way to do this is by raising awareness about taboo subjects like suicide,” BSPC President Claire Bens said.

Supported by OU’s Suicide Club, the program was designed to bring about awareness and offer help to students in need. Many members of the Psychology Club felt that suicide prevention needed to be addressed as an important and relevant issue. “I feel like a lot of people aren’t exactly aware of how prevalent it is in our culture,” said Amy Ashbrook, a junior studying psychology.

The campaign provided pamphlets with information about suicide prevention and healthy living as well as markers for students to write “love” on their arms and show support for the movement.

“BSPC decided to partner with TWLOHA for an event because we recognize that suicide is a health issue that dramatically affects college aged students and entire communities,” Bens said. “The organization is unique in its ability to spread quickly in a place like a college campus, and the physical representation of love sends a strong message about community building.”

Suicide prevention is not the only mission of the campaign, as the organization makes it a point to highlight issues such as depression, addiction and self-injury. The movement hopes to shed light on topics that are normally not discussed and emphasize the fact that many still suffer from them. By making these problems known, TWLOHA works to help, educate, encourage and inspire those in need and those who are struggling.

“I think that TWLOHA is a really good way to spread awareness and to let people know there is love and that we’re a Bobcat family,” said Aubrey Jackson, a junior studying art and psychology.

As a message of hope for struggling students and community members, participating students marked their arms with the word “love” in conjunction with the event’s name.

“To Write Love on Her Arms” was hosted around various areas on campus and then concluded with a speech on “Allyship and Suicide Prevention” by Delfin Bautista, director of the Ohio University LGBT Center.

Bobcats for Suicide Prevention holds meetings on the first Monday of every month in Baker 223. The meetings feature speakers as well as discussions about upcoming club events. The club is planning a stress relief event for finals week as well as an “Out of the Darkness” 5k walk next semester. The walk will be in conjunction with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Need help? Contact BSPC here.

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