Suicide Prevention Workshops at CSU

The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life have requested suicide prevention workshops this semester for both students and faculty.

“Notice and Respond” is an interactive program that the Colorado State University Health Network Health Education and Prevention Services have been working to bring to campus. The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life have made these workshops available for their community.

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The workshops took place on Tuesday Oct. 22, 4-5:15 p.m. and Wednesday Oct. 23, 7-8:15 p.m.

On both nights, approximately 12 students from various fraternity and sorority chapters attended the workshops in the lower conference room of the Rec Center.

“It’s definitely something that should be spread throughout Greek life and the entire campus. I think it’s an awesome tool,” said Joe Pearson, senior biological science major.

“This is not in response to any one event. This program has been in the works for a year and a half,” said Janelle Patrias, coordinator of the mental health network on campus.

Workshops are being determined on an as-needed basis and through individual departments, according to Carter Gilbert, graduate assistant for the FSL Office and Masters student in the student affairs in higher education program.

“For example, the Housing and Dining Services department provided this training for their resident assistants in August,” Gilbert said.

The prospective workshops this semester will be held in various buildings across campus, such as the Health Center and the Rec Center. They will be different based upon the audience.

The interactive workshop, originally created at Cornell University, used a combination of learning methods to recognize and respond to a range of mental health issues, including suicide. Participants can expect a realistic filmed scenario of a conversation with a distressed student that helps teach response options they can use. Participants were also given campus resources that offer support.

“I think it’s something a lot more people should be aware of — it’s very real,” said Nicolette Rice, senior psychology major and Pi Beta Phi policy and standards board chairwoman. “I learned that sometimes things are more subtle and the little things can really make a difference.”

Because it is such a pressing issue, especially on college campuses, CSU’s Fraternity and Sorority Life community was selected as leaders to pass along the message.

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“Suicide Prevention is an ongoing concern on college campuses, and the Fraternity and Sorority Life community strives to provide resources to our students,” Gilbert said. “Our office knew we wanted this to be a resource we could unroll to our community because we felt it was a great resource to highlight during the tough weeks of the fall semester.”

These suicide prevention workshops are geared to providing opportunities for everyone to feel more prepared to support a friend or community member in need.

“I strongly believe in this program and in the benefits we all receive when we commit to preventing suicide and attend trainings such as these. I hope as students and staff sees these being offered on campus, they will jump at the opportunity to attend,” Gilbert said.

Greek Life Beat Reporter Lexi Matula can be reached at news@collegian.com.