VICTORIA, Texas - UHV along with Be Well Victoria partnered to plant flags in memory of college students lost every year to suicide.
Each of these flags planted into the ground, signifies one student's life that was lost to suicide.
"Right here this event is called "the memorial of 1,100 flags," it's a part of our End the Stigma week which is happening next week. The flags are in remembrance of the 1,100 students lost every year across the nation to suicide," tells Chanel Hicks, UHV Health Educator.
1,100 students die each year by suicide, but 24,000 attempt suicide, so UHV, along with Be Well Victoria, held this event to spread awareness to prevent more tragedies from happening.
"1,100 flags signifies students are between the ages of 18-24 which is roughly the age of our college students, so we just really wanted to let people know that this is something that goes across our nation, and we want to make sure we are talking about it," tells Hicks.
Community health worker Jizyah Shorts adds she's glad to be a part of this event and see people care about preventing suicide.
"Being a college student can be very difficult. So I want people to see these flags and know that these are real people, and know that they are college students out there who need support," declares Jizyah Shorts, Community Health Worker. "They may need to be empowered or just need a friend or someone to talk to. this is something that we can do as a community to prevent students from dying by suicide."
This topic is near and dear to my heart because I almost committed suicide a couple of years ago. But what I learned is that it's okay not to be okay and you should always ask for help!
"If anyone is suffering, know that there are a lot of local and national resources, so please be on the look out for those," exclaims Hicks.
UHV wants to spread awareness and end the stigmas surrounding suicidal thoughts.
Officials encourage people in crisis and concerned family members to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 (800-273-TALK) to connect with counselors for emotional support and other services. This service is available 24/7 and also has a dedicated Veterans Crisis Line (press 1).
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