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VSCC hosts suicide awareness webinar “Break the Silence” Tuesday, Sept. 14

By Ariana Fortin

Volunteer State Community College‘s Office of Student Engagement and Support is hosting “Break the Silence” to support and remember those who have been impacted by suicide. The event will be held through Zoom Tuesday, Sept. 14, from 12 – 1 p.m.

The event is a resource for students in light of Suicide Awareness Month. All students are welcome, whether they have had a direct encounter with the issue or want to learn more and provide support. Tiffany Zwart, Vol State’s coordinator of Student Support Services, is the event coordinator.

“We all know someone who either has died by suicide, attempted suicide or struggles with suicidal ideation. We have to start the conversation so that we prevent unnecessary deaths future forward,” said Zwart.

According to the Campus Events Page, the event will be a webinar and speakers will be present. The conversation will aim to lessen the stigma around suicide.

This event is occurring Tuesday, Sept. 14, from 12 – 1 p.m. However, Vol State is striving to raise awareness throughout the entire month. For example, students and faculty are welcomed to have pinwheels, blank or with name, placed along Duffer Plaza this month as well.

Students can find the Zoom meeting ID and link to “Break the Silence” through the Campus Events page.

“The main focus of “Break the Silence” is suicide awareness and prevention. Most people don’t talk about suicide, because of the stigma… Students have an opportunity to help with mental health by participating in our prevention programs,” said Zwart.

According to Student Engagement and Support Manager, Heather Harper, other resources are available to students throughout the entire semester. An example of these resources are the six free Well Pass Program counseling sessions and crisis text line.

To access the free counseling sessions available to them, students can contact Zwart using her email tiffany.zwart@volstate.edu. The crisis text line is also accessible by texting TN to the phone number 741741.

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