Suicide loss program looks to help more students

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Breathe: Suicide Loss Support Group is working to support those on campus who have lost loved ones to suicide.

Wade Haskell founded this group back in February 2012.  Haskell has personally been affected by suicide loss, but he got through the struggle with the help of a group exactly like the one he founded at UVU.

The goals of the group are simple. First and foremost, Haskell wants to prevent suicide.

“It’s really important to know that most suicides are preventable,” Haskell said, “partly because most people who die by suicide suffer from [the] serious but very treatable disorder, clinical depression.”

Haskell also wishes to create a sense of unity with people that have lost someone to suicide.

“Many survivors find it comforting to talk to others who have also suffered a suicide loss,” Haskell said.

He also wants to be able to help people walk through their difficult time and see the progress that they have made. He holds sessions on the last Tuesday of every month for two hours in the Sorensen Student Center, room 222.  The sessions go from 6pm-8pm.

There won’t be a therapist or a counselor at the meetings because, as Haskell has said, their presence can make people feel as though they are under a microscope.

If you’re not comfortable with a group setting, Haskell said that there are other options, like seeking help from a therapist or a counselor in the Student Health and Wellness Center located in the Sorensen Student Center, room 222.

At the Health and Wellness Center the first therapy session is free to all UVU students, while subsequent sessions are $10, which can be waived for qualifying students.

Statistics show that 1 out of 4 adolescents and 1 out of 9 college students consider suicide. Because of this, J.C. Graham, coordinator for the Suicide Prevention and Awareness Program and has taught over 15,000 people on campus about the warning signs of suicide.

Grahm teaches “QPR: Question, Persuade, and Refer.” This program teaches not to be afraid to ask questions, persuade the person to get help, refer to professionals for help; contact a counselor, a teacher, etc.

Graham teaches about clues and warning signs of a potential suicide crisis.

On Wednesday, Sept. 18, the UVU Suicide Prevention and Awareness Program is sponsoring 3 events.

The first event is at noon in the Ragan Theater.  At this event, Tanner Kirk, a 16 year-old who lost a family member to suicide, and attempted suicide himself, will be speaking about suicide prevention.

During the event, J.C. Graham will be handing out Garrett Lee Smith Awards to three people: a faculty member, a student, and a community member.  These people have been nominated and chosen for providing excellent examples when it comes to helping those affected by suicide.  At 2p.m. Greg Hudnall will talk about youth suicide and suicide prevention in the Utah school system.

Before the event, on Tuesday, Sept. 17, from 1 to 4p.m, Wade Haskell will have a booth in the hallway of the PE building.  He will be speaking to students and handing out pamphlets about the Breathe support group.

Haskell will have another booth on Wednesday Sept. 18 from 8 to2p.m. by the art wall in the Student Center, and will be there to answer any questions.