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‘No Place Like Hope’ event tackles suicide

September 22, 2016
A candlelight luminary closed out “No Place Like Hope” at the Lady of the Mist. – Photo courtesy of Danny Do

A candlelight luminary closed out “No Place Like Hope” at the Lady of the Mist. – Photo courtesy of Danny Do

 

Starla Gatson
Staff Reporter | sjg021@ latech.edu

Members of Louisiana Tech’s student body were invited to hear and share stories of encouragement at the “No Place Like Hope: Bulldogs for Suicide Prevention” event.

The event was hosted by No Place Like Hope, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping those who struggle with thoughts of suicide and depression.

Carter Carroll, founder of the organization, said the purpose of the event was to teach students how to help themselves and save others.

“We want to bring people together and take a stand for suicide prevention,” he said. “And we want to show people that there are a number of professional services in our area that can help them.”

Carroll said the idea for this event stemmed from his own battle with depression.

CARROLL

CARROLL

“As someone who struggled with depression and suicide attempts for seven years, I knew I had to stand up, and I had to tell my story,” he said. “I had to rally people together to take a stand, and this is what came from that.”

The event included guest speakers, live music and booths from Lincoln Counseling, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and a few of Tech’s sororities and fraternities, including Sigma Kappa and Alpha Chi Omega.

Rachel Eddy, president of Tech’s National Alliance on Mental Illness, said she most enjoyed the positive atmosphere of the event.

“We wanted this to be about hope,” Eddy said. “It’s not about what we lost, but about what we can save, and that seems to be what’s on everybody’s mind. I’ve met a lot of people who are passionate about this, and that’s a great thing to see.”

Eddy said she hopes this event has brought more attention to suicide prevention on campus and has brought the student body closer together.

“As far as I know, this is the first time we’ve ever had anything like this that isn’t confined to just one group,” she said. “This is getting everyone on campus involved, from the Greeks to the geeks. I feel like this is a unifying thing, and that’s really good to have.”

Shane Lopez, a counselor at Lincoln Counseling, said he believes information about mental illness and suicide prevention is especially important among college students.

“It’s not something that’s covered widely in the media, or talked about a lot on campuses,” he said. “You get a lot of education, you have a lot of things you’re learning, but you’re not always taking care of yourself and you’re not being asked if you’re okay. You’re only being asked to perform and provide.”

Carroll said he was pleased with the students’ response to the event, and hopes to make it an annual event.

“Although it was a lot of work and a lot of long nights, I know that it was all worth it,” he said. “If we helped just one person today, we’ve done enough.”

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