STAMPING OUT STIGMA: Mental Health Awareness, Suicide Prevention, & How You Can Help

By: Shannon Francolini, Managing & News Editor

sffrancolini@plymouth.edu

Stamping Out Stigma has been a vitality to Plymouth State students and the Plymouth community for almost six years now. Accumulating Mental Health Awareness and Suicide Prevention while “fostering a sense of togetherness and creating a safe space for students” proudly announces Emily Edwards, President of SOS. During such precedented times, we are all struggling silently with our own individual battles. Navigating through this pandemic, a first for many, is also causing issues to arise that some of us may have never experienced before. Stated perfectly by PSU student and President, Emily Edwards, “everyone’s mental health has taken a significant toll on our everyday lives.” Specifically, since the rise of COVID-19, Stamping Out Stigma has gained almost twelve new members and is actively seeking to broaden their group.

Stamping Out Stigma is extremely involved and constantly participating and offering events on and off campus. On October 6th at 7PM, PSU’s Mental Illness Awareness Week Program is helping to end the stigma ofmental illness with NAMI NH’s In Our Own Voice program. This virtual event isopen to all students and the public, to help raise awareness during Mental Illness Awareness Week. Guest speakers will share personal experiences and achievements for the event, leading education and inspiration throughout. Suicide prevention signs may not always be as obvious or common as you might think, this event is a great opportunity to educate yourself on your own mental health and prevention tips.

Following Mental Illness Awareness Week, on October 10th, SOS is working alongside NAMI, Walks Your Way New Hampshire, by participating ina 5K awareness run, open to the public. They are going to practice social distancing and taking safety precautions by wearing masks while they walk around campus. Stamping Out Stigma is also encouraging registration for the Online SuicidePrevention Conference, held on November 12th & 13th, presented by several different organizations originating in New Hampshire. This conference will be another perfect opportunity to learn more about how you can help and get involved.

The topics of mental health and suicide awareness are extremely prevalent all over the world today, although the struggle is exemplified through young college students. We all have our personalized demons, but it is imperative to reach out to a friend, family member, colleague, or even the PSU Counseling center for help if you need. You can never know or understand what someone is going through unless you reach out, but the same advice goes for yourself. You are not as a lone as you may think. Stamping Out Stigma is a great way to make new friends, learn and get educated, get involved around campus, or lend help to someone you know is struggling.

Mental health and suicide do not discriminate for any age and Stamping Out Stigma is trying to physically stamp out the stigma and the prejudice surrounding these two topics, especially at PSU. They are not always easy to speak out about, and it definitely is not always easy to reach out when and if you need to. But maybe, this is your sign, to do something good foryourself or a friend, or a change. By following them on social media you can learn how to get more involved @stamping_out_stigma, their Instagram handle, or follow them on Facebook at Stamping Out Stigma.

Stamping Out Stigma is a national nonprofit organization, so make sure you get involved specifically at PSU as well!

Registration Links:

NAMI 5K Walk/Run Registration:

https://www.namiwalks.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.team&teamID=38603

Mental Health Conference Registration:

https://secure3.convio.net/dhmc/site/Calendar?id=100321&view=Detailhttps://secure3.convio.net/dhmc/site/Calendar?id=100341&view=Detail