In the next month, three student-run groups, which include Out of the Darkness, Active Minds and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), are planning events to help prevent suicide and end the stigma surrounding mental health. We are glad that suicide is getting large-scale attention from students at the University, as it is the second-highest cause of death among people ages 18 to 24.
Suicide is a prevalent issue among all people in the United States and is especially important to address during college, a time of high stress for students. College also provides the opportunity to dispel the stigma surrounding mental health by providing resources and education to shed light on a very real issue.
Last year, former ASUCD president Carly Sandstrom founded Each Aggie Matters, a university-wide campaign to pledge for mental health awareness. This was a significant step as it provided an outlet for students to tell their own stories about mental health and how it has impacted their lives. The campaign is supported through CA Prop 63, the Mental Health Services Act. The proposition provides housing and support to those with mental illnesses in California.
We commend the students who have provided safe spaces to discuss experiences with mental illnesses and for raising awareness on this important topic. Additionally, we commend the both the university and the state for making mental health a priority in initiatives and we encourage students to actively partake in these discussions to help normalize mental health.
Graphic by Jennifer Wu.