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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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SCS to host first Suicide Awareness Walk at A&M

In honor of September being Suicide Awareness Month, Student Counseling Services will host a Suicide Awareness Walk Wednesday to honor the lives lost to suicide and give a voice to those who have lost loved ones.
The Suicide Awareness Walk, which will take place in Rudder Plaza at 7 p.m., is the first to take place at A&M. It will feature suicide survivors — people who have lost someone close to them to suicide — and an Indie rock band called Leavenworth. Jenny Kenley, a counselor at SCS, said the walk will begin at 7:30 p.m. with live music and speakers. At 8 p.m., the group will walk to Rudder Plaza for a candlelight vigil to conclude the event.
Kenley said the Suicide Awareness Walk is meant to portray to students the resources available to them at through Student Counseling Services.
“Suicide is a leading cause of death for college students,” Kenley said. “Every day between one and three college-aged individuals complete suicide. Texas A&M is not immune to this.”
This year is the first year the event is taking place, but the SCS hopes it becomes an annual tradition at Texas A&M.
“The idea was generated by a group of students who have been impacted by suicide and feel strongly about the need to raise awareness,” Kenley said.
English senior Annabeth Reeb is one of these students. She is one of two survivors who will speak at the event.
“I was personally impacted by suicide when I lost someone very close to me,” Reeb said. “The sudden realization that people are struggling with depression all around us, often with very little warning signs at all, inspired me to look for a way to help members in our community.”
Reeb is leading Aggies for Living — a new student effort partnering with SCS to host the walk.
“We like to think of ourselves as a student task force,” Reeb said. “We are hoping to continue to raise awareness year long, though we are brand new and we do not know what these efforts will look like yet.”
Reeb got in contact with Kenley, who was also looking to start an awareness event on campus. From there, they found other students who were passionate about the cause, which wasn’t difficult to do, Reeb said. She said the walk is meant to be a way for students and other community members to unite and start a dialogue about mental health.
“We are going to have several information tables set around Rudder Plaza with organizations and resources that can aid in suicide prevention,” Reeb said.
Reeb said the group also wants to help erase the stigma behind counseling.
“A&M has so many wonderful resources and I think it is important that students know about them,” Reeb said.
Kenley said the walk was created by Aggies for Living and is unique to Texas A&M.
“This event is inspired by walks that take place all over the nation, but it is specific to A&M,” Reeb said. “A unique aspect about A&M’s walk is that it is not a fundraiser. Instead of raising money to go towards raising awareness for suicide prevention, we are cutting out the middleman and making the event all about awareness.”
Aside from the Suicide Awareness Walk, Kenley said the SCS offers other resources and support for those who believe someone they know may be struggling with contemplating suicide.
“Not only do we offer individual and group counseling, but we also provide Gatekeeper trainings,” Kenley said. “These Gatekeeper trainings help empower students to recognize the signs of suicide and help friends get the support they need.”
More information about these trainings can be found by emailing [email protected].

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