Suicide destroys many lives and breaks the hearts of those affected. However, it is an issue that often gets swept under the rug as many people do not often want to talk about it.
You Matter is an initiative being brought to Bridgewater State University by a class of social work majors for their community intervention project which is to help with suicide awareness.
Their mission statement said, “We want to bring a sense of hope to those who suffer in silence. We want to let them know that they are not alone, there is help, their voice is being heard, and most importantly; they matter.”
The class is planning upcoming events for the Bridgewater State community including a walk on campus which will be followed by a speaker, Craig A. Miller, a suicide attempt survivor and author of This is How it Feels. The walk will start at 5 p.m. on December 5 at the Moakley Atrium and Miller will start at 5:30 p.m. at the Heritage Room.
Junior and social work major, Katelyn Ostroski, is involved in the project for many reasons.
“You Matter is very close to my heart because I lost a cousin to suicide,” Ostroski said. “I have also lost many friends and it means a lot to me to create suicide awareness around the BSU campus. I hope that this event will make people aware on campus that this is happening and we need to be conscious of it. We could save a life.”
According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, in 2010 (the most recent year for which data was available), 38,364 suicides were reported, making suicide the 10th leading cause of death for Americans.
Senior Rebecca Senna is also very involved in the trying to get people more aware of suicide.
“To me, You Matter is not only the title of our project, but it is also a reminder to others that they do matter, and they do make a difference,” Senna said. “I think that these events will impact other BSU students’ opinion about this issue. We are hoping that by talking about a subject that is not often discussed, we will help take away the negative stigma that is often attached to the issue of suicide.”
Morgayne Mulkern is a Comment staff writer. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.