Alabama State University holds ‘R U Good?’ event to discuss suicide prevention
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - September marks National Suicide Prevention Month and on the campus of Alabama State University, students and employees came together Thursday to talk about suicide awareness and prevention.
Six years ago, the “R U Good?” event was launched.
Chris Johns, the director of Alabama State University’s Counseling Center says it was the result of data that showed suicide as the second leading cause of death among people ages 15 to 24.
“Suicide affects everyone. It affects everyone within the community. In the state of Alabama, we have more suicides than homicides, so we need to be aware,” said Johns.
Education is at the forefront of the event. Johns says they want students, employees, and the community to be aware of the signs someone may be struggling with mental health problems.
“They may not be communicating. They may do things that they normally don’t do, that are out of the ordinary— giving away items, personal belongings. They may have behavior where they just kind of overly withdraw from others. Those are just some of the signs,” Johns said.
“We don’t want people to go and make a permanent decision for a temporary problem,” said Montgomery County Probate Judge JC Love.
Judge Love served as the event’s speaker. He says it’s important to know you are not alone and there are resources available.
“Just trying to work to take the stigma away from mental health and mental illness and making people more comfortable to being able to seek out the help and the resources,” said Love.
“We need to make people culturally aware. Some people think that people of color don’t commit suicide. That’s a myth,” said Johns.
ASU’s counseling center is free and open for students and employees five days a week, all year long.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, please contact the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.
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