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Shenandoah hosts first Walk Out of Darkness

Nichole Davila-Sanchez, ‘Doah Staff Writer
March 18, 2015

Tullian Tchividjian once said, “The deepest fear we have, ‘the fear beneath all fears,’ is the fear of not measuring up, the fear of judgment. It’s this fear that creates the stress and depression of everyday life.” Many students have discovered this to be true when they decide to commit to the pursuit of higher education because it’s not like a job but rather like a lifestyle. School, work, business, personal and social stresses bombard our fellow students everyday no matter what their age is. This is something we can all empathize with, yet the heaviest weight we carry is the one we give to ourselves.

Students all over the world try to achieve the vision of perfection we were raised believing we had to achieve in order to become happy. We run, fight, strive, fall and rise only to have the cycle repeat every day until it reaches the day when we take a breath and feel the need to scream bubbling up in our throats or in the back of our heads. Suicide has been proven to be the leading cause of death in college students followed by alcohol related deaths.

In 2012, the Suicide Prevention Resource Center put out some enlightening information on the subject of suicide. The percentage of college and university students who had seriously considered, made a plan, attempted suicide or had committed suicide goes up within a shorter amount of time, according to the SPRC’s research.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention offers (AFSP) help to people who receive treatment for both the mind and the body. They are currently working with our Psychology Club to hold a walk on Shenandoah University’s Winchester campus on from 10 a.m. to 1p.m. on Mar. 31 in order to raise awareness about suicide and money in order to fund research, support people who have lose someone to suicide, create educational programs and advocate for public policy. Miss Darlena, head of the Psychology Club states, “We hope to bring the community of Winchester together to create awareness, prevent suicide, reduce the stigmas of suicide and most importantly support those who may have been affected by suicide and lost a loved one.”

The club will be providing Honor Beads, which are similar to Mardi Gras beads, to the personal connection to the cause. Each color will have different meanings: white to represent the lost a child, red for the lost of a spouse or partner, gold for the lost of a parent, orange for the lost of a sibling, purple for the lost of a relative or friend, silver for the lost of  first responder or military, green for those who struggled personally, blue for those who support the cause, and  teal for friends and family of someone who struggles. This is to help people identify with others who share similar experiences. The AFSP will also be providing information about their programs, and there will even be booths set up.

If you would like to make a donation or register for the walk, then visit the ASFP’s website at http://afsp.donordrive.com. If you would like to join the Psychology Club, then you can contact Darlena Poling at dpoling11@su.edu. Chuck Palahniuk, author of the book “Fight Club” once said, “Our Generation has had no great war, no Great Depression. Our war is spiritual… The struggle is real, but with a united effort, a difference can be achieved and we can walk “Out of the Darkness.”

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