DYLAN FOREMAN; Sports Editor; firstname.lastname@example.org
At Pacific Lutheran University, a conversation is brewing in regards to raising awareness for mental health resources. The PLU Active Minds Chapter (formerly known as the National Alliance on Mental Illness or NAMI) has spearheaded this conversation with their new “100 reasons to live” campaign aimed at providing support for those struggling with their own mental health.
President of the PLU Active Minds senior Alaa Alshaibani and vice president Renee Lumia, came up with the idea after attending an Active Minds conference in Sacramento this past fall. At a workshop, Alshaibani and Lumia saw that the University of Portland had released a 100 reasons to live video after their campus experienced a number of suicides committed by students and faculty over the last few years.
Their mission statement is “We strive to educate on, advocate for, and support those with mental illness among the PLU community,” which by the introduction of their campaign, is what they are striving to achieve.
“I feel like because there’s a stigma on mental health that maybe a lot of people don’t feel comfortable [talking about it],” Alshaibani said. The purpose of the video is “to spread awareness and to try to get people more involved and to get rid of the stigma.”
On PLU Active Minds Facebook page, people have been signing up for a video that will be released in Fall of 2017. The main premise is that students will hold up a sign naming a reason to live. For example, senior Monica Richardson posted on Instagram a picture of herself holding up a sign that said “your pets would wonder where you are.” These messages are meant to be a positive way to look at the lives of college students and raise awareness for suicide prevention.
“A lot of people are really interested in trying to show people that people are there for them,” Alshaibani acknowledged. “There are also people that identify with mental illness so they really want to give back, and I feel that is really cool.”
Updates to the “100 Reason to Live” campaign will be posted on the PLU Active Minds Facebook page.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
Students can text a crisis support line at any time by texting “START” to 747-747 and can also access someone when in crisis by calling PLU Counseling Center’s Crisis Line at 253-535-7075.
The PLU Health Center, Counseling Center, Campus Ministry Office are all confidential reporting services. ◼︎