By: Parker Williamson
With finals week just around the corner Student Affairs hosted a Ready to Learn session on depression and suicide on Tuesday.
The session focused on how to understand and respond to concerns about depression and suicide. It also covered the do’s and don’ts with people at risk. This was the first event on this topic that Dr. Shawna Harris attended. She went to the event in hopes of learning the signs of depression and wanted to learn what things to say or do for people that may be struggling. She said that it is good that the university is trying to do things to spread awareness of these issues.
“This is important because people are dying,” Harris said. “Many people may not even know that they struggle with depression. Knowing the warning signs and being educated on these issues could save a life.”
Nicki Robertson, the assistant director of Human Resources, thought the event was very helpful and informative. She said that it is good to know what to do when faced with a situation where someone may be suicidal. She has noticed that it seems more common in recent years and wants herself and others to be equipped with the knowledge to help others that need it.
“Especially from a human resources perspective it is important to be able to recognize the signs of someone struggling,” Robertson said. “For us, it is really good to know those signals and be able to assist someone who needs it.”
The Assistant Director of the International Center Fumi Cheever thought this event was very important. She was happy to see so many other departments involved in an event like this. She hopes that faculty will be more ready to help in a crisis if they are educated on tough topics like this.
“I believe it is always nice to have these discussions up front before something happens,” Cheever said. “This is a hard topic to talk about, but I think that if more students come to events like this, they will be able to prevent bad situations from happening.”
Finals week is considered by many the most stressful time for students. Many people do not realize how stress can impact their health, mentally and physically. This event encourages students to take care of themselves better, especially during stressful times. It also encourages others to take notice of people around them who may be struggling and helps create an understanding of how to help them.