The UO chapter of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity is organizing Suicide Prevention Week activities Nov. 16 through 20 with events meant for the entire community.
Anthony Macias, Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s community service chairman, organized the week’s events. To him, Suicide Awareness Week is an opportunity to spread mental health knowledge and counseling resources.
“The goal is to bring awareness so that fewer people in our community have to go through the pain that surrounds depression and suicide,” he said.
Macias collaborated with Eugene’s White Bird Clinic to develop a donation page. One of the clinic’s programs, Crisis Assistance Helping Out On The Streets, known as CAHOOTS, is a mobile intervention group that operates a 24-hour crisis hotline as well as suicide prevention, assessment and intervention services.
Along with a secure method to make online donations, the webpage includes links to White Bird’s resource programs. All proceeds from the fundraiser go directly to White Bird Clinic to fund its mental and physical health services for Lane County residents.
Macias said Sigma Alpha Epsilon also will hold a virtual meeting with a psychologist from University Health Services and a representative from the UO’s Suicide Prevention Team on Monday, Nov. 16, at 6 p.m. During the seminar, speakers will discuss early suicidal tendencies and how to help a friend who may display them.
The event will take place over Zoom. The meeting ID number is 614-898-4248 and does not require a password. Anyone is welcome to join.
Macias said he hopes the seminar will destigmatize discussions about mental health struggles.
“Suicide and suicidal thoughts are seen as shameful in society, and society hates talking about shame,” he said.
The event will include a Q&A segment to get people talking about mental health and suicide prevention.
Throughout Suicide Prevention Week, members of Sigma Alpha Epsilon will distribute 1,000 wallet cards donated by the Suicide Prevention Team, Macias said. Each handout contains information about mental health resources for students at the university.
Additionally, Macias said Sigma Alpha Epsilon will gift a White Bird Clinic help book to each UO fraternity and sorority chapter house. Each booklet contains contact information for emergency crisis lines, tips for how to maintain one’s holistic well-being and details about how to support friends struggling with their mental health.
For information about CAHOOTS’ hotlines and services, visit the White Bird Clinic website. If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or feelings, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 for free and confidential 24-hour support.
—By Lauren Church, Clark Honors College Communications