Next month, in terms of health awareness, is probably best known for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. However, October also contains Mental Health Awareness Week, National Depression Screening Day and Domestic Violence Action Month. Three weeks ago was National Suicide Awareness Week. In December, survivors of suicide are honored on the 19th.
I write this letter from the editors as a way of saying to check in on those you love in the next few months. As the days become shorter, weather becomes colder and school rolls into a full swing, life is not always easy for those who struggle with anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses.
It’s not obvious when these issues come to light within ourselves, or within others, but sometimes, it happens too late. I have lost close friends to suicide, and no one around them seemed to know what they were going through before it happened.
So I ask you… check in on your friends, loved ones and others you know. You can never be sure what one is going through, and a simple text, letter, email or other communication saying, “Hey, I was thinking about you,” could impact them positively. Not to say that this could heal them of their mental illnesses, but it could remind them that someone is there for them.
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental illness, or signs of depression and anxiety, many organizations on and off campus are available for support.
Student Health and Counseling Center: (907) 786-4040
UAA Care Team: (907) 786-6065
UAA Title IX Coordinator: (907) 786-0818
Abused Women’s Aid in Crisis (AWAIC): (907) 272-0100
Standing Together Against Rape (STAR): (907) 276-7273