Suicide Awareness: Warhawks gather to celebrate life


September is National Suicide Awareness Month and the Zeta Pi chapter of Delta Sigma Phi fraternity at ULM commemorated the month with a celebration of life.
Hollis Walker, a junior kinesiology major, and members of his fraternity hosted the event Friday night at the Activity Center.
According to Walker, suicide is a big threat to today’s society and at time seen as a taboo to speak about.
“Delta Sigma Phi Celebration of life was to raise awareness for suicide. Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death and it’s starting to happen more frequently in college students,” Walker said.
The event served as a gathering place for students to come forward and talk about the sensitive subject. During the event, the Ouachita Junior High School dance team performed a routine to brighten up the atmosphere as students took turns talking.
“A ULM student spoke about his experience with suicide and gave tips on how to spot suicidal persons. He also mentioned what you can do to help and the appropriate way of doing it,” Walker said.
The event was created to raise awareness of suicide prevention. According to Walker, it is difficult for people to discuss the topic of suicide, because it’s a sensitive topic.
“It is very rare that people want to talk about suicide or raise awareness for such but it’s important,” Walker added.
The planned walk for the event was shortened, and food was provided for attendees. Later the night ended with a balloon release.
“We ended the night with a balloon release that was in honor of the people that have lost their life due to suicide,” Walker said.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death in college students right under traffic incidents. Compared to the general population, college students are at a greater risk of committing suicide. School related stress alongside social and economic issues are the leading causes of stress among college students.
Friday’s events marks only one of a lot of different events hosted by ULM and its students to educate students on suicide awareness. The university has a free counseling center on campus to assist students who feel overly pressured or depressed.