With the conclusion of Illinois Tech’s first Mental Health Awareness Week, I want to give a big thank you to all the student orgs, faculty, staff, and administrators that helped put this week together. It’s only with our combined efforts that we were able to pull off a successful week with informative and mind-opening lectures, seminars, and events. I want to give a special thank you to our faculty advisor and Associate Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, April Welch, whom without we would not have been able to do so much in such little time.
The highlight of this week was our memorial tree planting service we had on Thursday, Sept. 10, 2020. With the amazing effort of the IIT Facilities team, we were able to plant a beautiful tree at the corner of the Carr Memorial Chapel to honor and remember all students who have passed away from suicide. The students of the Exelon Summer Institute gathered together to create origami butterflies to hang on the tree, each with a positive quote or message on them. We want this to be a place to not only memorialize those we have lost, but also to create a place where students, staff, and faculty alike can come to find solace and comfort if they ever need it.
Moving on from this event, we hope that we can make this week an annual function to spread awareness and bring positivity for everyone at the Illinois Tech Community. If you have some time please fill out this survey we have created to collect data and inquiries from the student body in regards to the mental health community here at the university: https://forms.gle/Ywjw2TZHGM6Z3qbh6. We hope that collecting this information will help greatly improve our university resources and overall student life. Please note that all submissions are completely anonymous.
Additionally, within the upcoming weeks, our team hopes to create a living document containing all sorts of resources internally and externally for Illinois Tech students in regards to mental health. This includes but is not limited to (hotlines, websites, books, podcasts, apps, etc.). If you would like to contribute to this document, please feel free to fill out this submission form:
I’d like to finish off by saying if you are reading this and are going through a hard time, please know that you are loved and you are important. Your voice, your presence, your life matters. Don’t be afraid to be who you are and talk about how you feel.
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Project Lead, Mental Health Awareness Initiative
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If you are or anyone you know is going through hardships or having mental health issues, you can contact Student Health and Wellness to schedule an appointment at email@example.com. If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts or ideations, please do not hesitate to call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1.800.273.8255.