This past Monday, COD’s Human Services Network Club and Mental Illness Support and Advocacy Alliance (MISAA) held their first Suicide Prevention and Depression Awareness Fair to shine a light on this issue that effects millions of Americans and to offer plenty of resources for individuals to receive help and guidance.
Organizations at the event included representatives from Metropolitan Family Services of DuPage, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the DuPage County Health Department, Suicide Prevention Services of America (SPS), the DuPage County Illinois affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), and many others.
“Spreading awareness about suicide and depression is important because people don’t talk about it enough. There are places to turn and many resources in the community,” commented Dennis Emano, Mental Health Counselor at the college and advisor of MISAA.
NAMI DuPage is the largest NAMI affiliate in Illinois. Volunteers from this organization have visited many high schools and colleges to educate students on mental health and to offer support.
“The more we talk about, the more people won’t be afraid to talk about it,” said Julie Clucas, NAMI volunteer.
“We can get this public.”
“NAMI on Campus” is an extension of NAMI onto campus communities where students can lead clubs aimed to address mental health issues.
NAMI on campus leaders have access to a variety of materials to help them maintain their club. If you’re interested in starting one at COD, the first step is fill out a “NAMI on Campus Interest Form” on www.nami.org.
With national hotlines, support groups, drop-in recreation centers, hospital programs, school presentations, education programs, and many other ways to reach out for help, all of these organizations are committed to assisting people who are not only dealing with a mental illnesses, but also people who just need someone to talk to.
Did you know?
• 64% of young adults who stopped attending college because of mental health related reasons.
• 7% of college students have “seriously considered suicide” during the past year.
• About 1,100 college students take their own lives each year.
• One in four adults experience a mental health disorder in a given year.
• Over 50% of students with a mental disorder age 14 and older drop out of high school – the highest dropout rate of any disability group.
Are you or a friend depressed? Signs to look for
• Feeling trapped, hopeless, or worthless
• Changes in sleeping and eating habits
• Withdrawing or feeling isolated
• Displaying extreme mood swings
• Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies that were once enjoyed
• Decreased energy, fatigue, being ‘slowed down’
What you can do
• Join a NAMI support group. Call (630) 752-0066.
• Call a SPS 24/7 Lifeline to talk to someone. 1-800-273-TALK.
• Get an assessment. Call the DuPage County Health Department Crisis Services at (630) 627-1700.
• Confide in a COD Counselor. Call 630-942-2259 or stop by SSC 3200.
• Attend classes and psychiatric services with Metropolitan Family Services of DuPage. Call 630-784-4800.