Students learn about mental health issues at 'Never Walk Alone'

Assistant Director of Counseling Eric Wood and Health Center nurse Becky Payne set up their table full of goodies at the Never Walk Alone event on Tuesday afternoon, which is dedicated to educating students about mental health issues on campus. Photo by Bryn Zimmermann. Volunteers gather to help assemble flowers for the Never Walk Alone event on Tuesday afternoon. Photo by Bryn Zimmermann.
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Music, free food and inspirational speeches were given to raise awareness about mental health issues and suicide prevention outside of the Brown-Lupton University Union on Wednesday. This kick-off event was called Never Walk Alone.

TCU’s Alcohol and Drug Education Center and the Counseling Center hosted Never Walk Alone.  The Counseling Center is focusing on suicide prevention now more than ever, on account of the five suicide reports they have had in the last two years.

There were fliers for students to learn about topics pertaining to drug use, sexual intercourse under the influence, and individual responsibility.

The campaign also created a system encouraging people to monitor their mental health through their own computers.

This system is called the Frog Fitness Pedometer Challenge. The pedometer challenge is where students and faculty can register their steps in order to improve their mental and physical health. Once they reach a certain amount of steps they are rewarded with prizes.

Students and faculty can register online here.

The campaign not only promoted their system but also taught students that they need to have hope integrated in their day to day lives, because it is the strongest buffer between depression and anxiety.

The campaign was planned since August of this year and the main goal is to educate the campus on the mental health resources TCU offers, said Nicole Nava, senior psychology major and event coordinator.

The campaign is not only educational but was spiritual as well. Reverend Jeremy Albers gave a speech on how to monitor our values and followed it up with a moment of silence to recognize those we have lost to these issues.   

“We need to recognize the value of every individual and we need to celebrate academic success among every man and woman, and live with that vision every day,” Albers said.

Some students attended the event because they dealt with a suicidal incident in their lives. One student in particular, Effi Husbands, had someone close to her attempt to commit suicide and said she was very happy to see people come together and feel so strongly to help the prevention of it.

Many students attended the event and also swiped their ID cards to participate in a drawing competition to win two massages at the Rec Center or gift cards to places like Starbucks or iTunes.

Students also learned yellow is the color of suicide prevention and yellow carnations were given to students to hand out to others for a smile in return.

“Overall the event was a success, I was nervous about students coming to participate in the event, but I am very happy with the turnout,” Nava said. 

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