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A picture of the entrance to the Counseling and Psychological Services department at Watkins Health Center.

During the month of September, people all across the nation come together to spread awareness of suicide and end the stigma of mental health. The University of Kansas and many organizations have events planned for Suicide Awareness Month.

On campus, the University’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) will promote awareness and give ways to help students’ mental health all through the month.

“I think that with KU being such a huge school it is important to take advantage of using its platform for all of its students,” Chloe Christensen, a freshman from Andover said. “It’s important to not let suicide be a stigma and to encourage others to be open to their feelings and ways to get help.”

A group of diverse students dedicated to helping connect students with CAPS and spreading awareness called HOPE@CAPS also took part in Suicide Awareness Month. They partnered up with #BeThe1ToPlay during September, which is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s message for Suicide Prevention Awareness month.

“988 Lifeline's yearly campaign for suicide prevention is a great reminder for HOPE @ CAPS and KU students to check in on our friends and family and be there for them in the best way we can,” Miranda McDaniel, a member of HOPE@CAPS said. “We want to be there for students to provide resources so students know where they can access support.”

Another student-led organization, Hawk’s Mind, which is the newest addition to the Center for Community Outreach, will host “Let’s Chalk About Mental Health” all through the month of September. This event will raise awareness about mental health around campus.

“Raising awareness is all about spreading the message that mental health matters,” Inaya Khan, Hawks Mind co-coordinator, said. “The United States' mental health system is known for being severely understaffed and underfunded, and it isn't uncommon for quality mental health services to be inaccessible to many people desperate for reprieve.”

Later in the month, Hawk’s Mind will also host a Town Hall meeting in hopes that students can meet local mental health organizations, ask questions to community mental health leaders, and give students the opportunity to communicate their hopes for these organizations.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988, or go to 988lifeline.org. CAPS also has a 24/7 support lineline where you can call, chat, anytime, anywhere, through the My SSP App.