Suicide prevention month inspires the Garden of Hope

Community Featured Features

By: Alyson Peabody, Editor-in-Chief

1,100 yellow sunflowers are spread along the hill behind Corthell Hall. Each flower is constructed from recyclable material and were “planted” by 10 USM Psychology Club students in honor of National Suicide Prevention Awareness month.

The flowers commemorate 1,100 students who die annually by suicide.

The idea for “Garden of Hope” was inspired by a display at Boston College, according to honors student, Tracy Edwards. The Honors Student Organization (HSO) wanted to create this display to bring awareness about suicide prevention during the month of September and the Psychology Club helped make this a reality.

“A lot of people may have been affected by the effects of suicide and we wanted to promote a community of healing and support,” said Edwards. “Mental health plays a big part in how college students are affected. During this month it is important to show that there are resources available in the community, as well as nationally.”

Sunflowers were chosen because yellow is the color associated with national suicide prevention awareness.

Edwards said that they initially wanted to purchase 1,100 pinwheel, but decided a recyclable material would have less of an ecological impact.

“Most of the members in the HSO are graduating seniors so we hope that others may pick up this task and help bring awareness around the stigma of mental health,” said Edwards.

Edwards said that a similar event is being planned for the Portland campus in October for World Mental Health Day.

Informational Resources
Know the Warning Signs and Risk Factors of Suicide: nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-Conditions/Related-Conditions/Risk-of-Suicide
Being Prepared for a Crisis: nami.org/Find-Support/Family-Members-and-Caregivers/Being-Prepared-for-a-Crisis

USM Specific Resources
Everybody Struggles: youtube.com/watch?v=tUOve6SfJCo&feature=youtube_gdata_player%20%20%20
Suicide Prevention Guide online guide available through the Center for Collegiate Mental Heath: http://www.bestcolleges.com/resources/suicide-prevention/
The Jed Foundation: jedfoundation.org/
Maine Suicide Prevention Program: maine.gov/suicide/
The Trevor Project–24hr crisis support and suicide prevention for LGBTQ youth: thetrevorproject.org/
National Suicide Prevention LifeLine (1-800-273-8255)
Crisis Line for Veterans (1-800-273-8255, press #1)
Maine State Crisis Hotline ( 1-888-568-1112)
Cumberland County Crisis Hotline (1-207-774-HELP)

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