Suicide awareness art exhibit opens for week-long viewing
Published: Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 18, 2012 00:09
Bandanas filled with hopeful and inspiring messages are displayed throughout the Student Union art exhibit as part of Suicide Awareness Week.
“We lost a young lady a few years ago. She was beautiful and intelligent,” said Sheila Kucko, assistant director of the Asian American Cultural Center. “I would do anything I could to help any student.”
The “Be Aware, Show You Care” interactive art exhibit is a community-sharing exhibit that encourages students to share their thoughts on suicide and whatever other messages they wish to convey to the community.
“The quotes were really powerful to me,” said Alexander Eloi, a 7th-semester communications major. “I’ve been here for three years and I never knew how prevalent suicide was. But I was glad to see such a show of help.”
The Suicide Prevention Committee meets year-round and holds events throughout the academic year, inspiring students to demonstrate that UConn cares and that there is hope, help and healing for everyone. UConn has a suicide prevention website that lists facts about college and suicide. It states that suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students, resulting in over 1,100 deaths among college students alone.
Twenty-four different UConn offices have joined together as a community of caring to develop a group response to suicide prevention. Capitalizing on this message, the art exhibit invites all students to create their own bandanas throughout the week. The gallery will be open between 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. every day this week. In addition to bandanas, there are quilts with similar messages displayed in the Wilbur Cross Building, the Rowe Center for Undergraduate Education and the Counseling and Mental Health Center.
In addition to the gallery, there are movie screenings on campus, an Out to Lunch series, a health and wellness fair and many other events throughout the week. Kucko explained how there will also be events year-round, specifically a suicide prevention week in the spring that includes an art gallery, movies, an outdoor concert, a memorial and a panel discussion.
“Make sure your fellow student knows you’re there,” Kucko said. “Reach out and let people know that you’re there for help. The biggest thing is that everyone knows that they’re not alone and there are people out there who care.”