World Suicide Prevention Day is coming up next week (Wednesday, September 10), and we wanted to do something special. This poster was created with a few thoughts in mind:
- The quote: If you've ever seen the movie, Dead Poets Society, you've heard the many powerful discourses given by Professor John Keating, played by Robin Williams. In one particular discourse, Keating quotes the poet, Walt Whitman, and expresses how this powerful play of life goes on and every individual has the sacred opportunity to leave their mark - to contribute a verse. He then poses the question, "What will your verse be?" Recognizing that each individual's verse is important, we ask those who may be struggling with thoughts of suicide to stay alive so that they may contribute that verse. The verse that only they can offer this bizarre play we call life. We need your verse.
- The quoted: On August 11th of this year, Robin Williams's verse was cut short by suicide. As a homage to his life, we found it appropriate to utilize a quote from a role he played so well.
- The color: Orange is sometimes used to represent suicide awareness and is the color used for National Suicide Prevention Week (September 8-14).
- The silhouette: The silhouetted head was chosen as a backdrop to represent a major culprit behind suicide: Mental illness. One in four adults live with mental illness at any given point each year. If you find yourself living with a mental illness, you don't need to struggle alone. Reach out to a friend or counselor to get started on the path to healing. The more we talk about mental illness, the more people will feel comfortable with asking for help. Let's remove the stigma and save lives. Use #Act4MentalHealthto help the conversation gain momentum.
- The fundraiser: On World Suicide Prevention Day, we will be selling shirts with this design printed on the front. The proceeds will help pay for counseling services for SLCC students that cannot afford to pay themselves. A portion of proceeds will also go to help some of our students go to a national health conference to learn skills and tools to help our college be more inclusive of those with mental illness and know how to help those struggling with thoughts of suicide.
Please help spread the word on mental illness and suicide prevention by sharing this image throughout social media. Don't be afraid to talk about mental health and the importance of self-care.