Dear fellow Jayhawks,
We want you all to know that Active Minds takes suicide prevention seriously. Suicide is not something to be taken lightly and we want everyone to know that we are here for you. We will do everything in our power to provide you with support, friendship and resources to get you and your fellow Jayhawks the assistance that is desperately needed for those affected by suicide, mental illness, stress, anxiety, homesickness and so on.
Here are some ideas we have been discussing lately:
1. In addition to tabling at Wescoe and holding our usual educational and social events, we would like to start making sure that mental health resources, brochures, and numbers are always available in the dorms, scholarship halls, dining areas and elsewhere.
2. We are looking into the possibility of having crisis numbers on the back of all student IDs. (This is a long-term goal.)
3. We would like to bring Kognito, an avatar-based simulation game that teaches students to look for at-risk behavior and would be mandatory training for students. This is already available in about 300-plus other campuses in the U.S. KU would have to pay to implement this, so this would require support from our fellow Jayhawks and you lending your voices for this to happen.
4. We'd like to implement QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) Training for faculty, RAs, and health care providers at Watkins with the help of the Douglas County Suicide Prevention Coalition.
5. We are working on a Suicide Prevention Campus Walk to help raise awareness and build solidarity.
6. We have known for some time that schools must always evolve with the changing needs of their fellow students. It's imperative that students feel safe and know they have somewhere to go. We will be looking into what policies can be improved, amended, or even removed. We want students to feel comfortable approaching their professors about their mental health, just as they would if they were stuck in the hospital with a broken leg. Students should not have to worry about their grades at the expense of their mental health.
7. We'll be looking into how we can expedite the process at the KU Psychological Clinic, CAPS and elsewhere, so that people can be seen right away. We realize waiting is not always an option and people need to be seen now.
8. We want you to share your ideas with us. We want to know what we are missing and what could be extraordinarily beneficial for our peers.
9. We want our fellow Jayhawks to know that you can approach any one of us on campus. We will listen, and we won't judge you. We know it's more difficult to reach out to authority figures than it is to reach out to your peers, so if you feel like someone isn't available to listen, please keep us in mind. We have several resources at hand and can help point you in the right direction. Many of us have felt what you are possibly feeling. Please always keep us in mind.
10. Last but not least: We love you. Please stay.
You are not alone in this. Whatever your situation, whatever you are feeling right now, someone is always here to hold your hand and listen. Please reach out.
Headquarters: (785) 841-2345
Headquarters online chat: Tuesday through Saturday, 11 p.m. to 2 a.m
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 (TALK)
Crisis text line: Text "Start" to 741-741
Additional free 24/7 supports:
Plus TTY (800) 799-4889 — Interpreter services for many languages
Lawrence Memorial Hospital: (785) 505-6162
Headquarters Counseling Center:
Headquarters Counseling Center is offering a therapy clinic for those ages 8 and up to receive short-term counseling by MSW Practicum Students. Individual therapy is $10 a session, no insurance needed. Group sessions will last nine weeks and are open to anyone ages 13-18 who has lost someone to suicide. The group is free.
Tuesday: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Wednesday: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Thursday: 3-7 p.m.
Friday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Thursday: 7:30-8:30 p.m.
To make appointments or referrals, contact Kristin Vernon at (785) 841-9900 (9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday) or email email@example.com.CAPS:
Coping skills group
CAPS offers a semester-long group focused on teaching students skills in the areas of mindfulness, tolerating stress, regulating emotions and relational skills. The aim of the group is learning to effectively and positively influence your emotional state and daily experiences. Students will need an initial appointment to assist in determining whether this is the appropriate treatment to meet their needs. For more information, contact CAPS at (785) 864-2277.
(785) 843-9192 — individual and group counseling
Suicide attempt survivors:
Stayin' Alive Support Group for suicide attempt survivors: The group meets every Wednesday for eight weeks. Contact Marcia at M.Epstein.LMSW@gmail.com.
Survivors of suicide loss:
Healing after Suicide group: Meets every other Tuesday. Contact Marcia at M.Epstein.LMSW@gmail.com.
DBT Diary Card and Skills Coach
This app works as a daily mood and thought diary. But it also has a coaching module that gives tips on sticky emotional situations, like how to ask for what you need without drama or how to successfully resolve conflict. And users get positive reinforcement when they're consistent with their entries. The app also includes a super helpful DBT reference section for more info on coping skills — all backed by research. ($4.99; iOS)
Depression CBT Self-Help Guide
Need help managing the blues? Monitor dips in your mood, learn about clinical depression and treatments, try guided relaxation techniques, and learn strategies to challenge negative thinking with this app. It's all just a few taps and swipes away. (Free; Android)
Sometimes, all we need to de-stress is take a few deep breaths. Created by the National Center for Telehealth and Technology, this app teaches users how to do diaphragmatic breathing. Features include educational videos on the stress response, logs to record stress levels, and customizable guided breathing sessions. (Free; iOS and Android)
Implementing some of the many strategies of cognitive behavioral therapy, this app helps users assess their stress levels, practice mindfulness and relaxation skills, and connect their thoughts to feelings and behaviors. The end result is more calm in your everyday life and more awareness of your actions and emotions. ($0.99; iOS)
Want to kick negative thoughts, nix worry, and dial down stress? The array of engaging games, activity suggestions, and gratitude prompts makes Happify a useful shortcut to a good mood. Designed with input from 18 health and happiness experts, Happify’s positive mood-training program is psychologist approved. Even cooler? Its website links to bonus videos that are sure to make you smile. (Free; iOS)
Operation Reach Out
This mood tracker and resource locator was designed by Emory University researchers to aid in suicide prevention. The setup is simple: Users create a personal profile that includes emergency contact information, current medications, safety plans, and reminders for appointments or medications. Plus the app uses GPS to locate mental health care services nearby, should any user enter crisis mode. (Free; iOS and Android)