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  • IPFW Sponsors Events for Suicide Prevention Week
For Immediate Release
September 07, 2017

IPFW Sponsors Events for Suicide Prevention Week

Key Info

  • Suicide Prevention Week September 10–16
  • Monday: Education Session Tables
  • Tuesday: Mental Health 101 and Survivor Candlelight Ceremony
  • Wednesday: Resource Fair
  • Thursday: 13 Reasons Why Panel Discussion and Gatekeeper Training
  • Friday: Gatekeeper Training
  • All Events Free and Open to Public

FORT WAYNE, Ind.—Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) is holding educational events in recognition of Suicide Prevention Week (September 10–16.) Sunday, September 10, is World Suicide Prevention Day and this year's theme is “Take a Minute, Change a Life.”

In the United States, one person completes suicide every 11 minutes. There are 1,100 suicides on college campuses every year, and it is the second leading cause of death among college students.

On Monday, September 11, tables will be set up all across campus for Take 5 and Change a Life. These peer-to-peer education sessions will talk about the warning signs of suicide and how to do your part by practicing self-care, reaching out, and spreading the word. This event runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Athletics Center Lobby, Student Housing, Neff Hall, Alumni Plaza, Liberal Arts Building, Helmke Library, and the first floors of Kettler Hall and the Walb Student Union.

Two events will be hosted Tuesday, September 12. A workshop, Mental Health 101, will explore common mental health disorders, the surrounding stigma, and how to advocate for those affected. The workshop will be from noon to 1 p.m. in Walb Student Union, Room G21. The second event, a Suicide Survivor Candlelight Ceremony, will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. across the Venderly Bridge. This ceremony is in partnership with STOP Suicide Northeast Indiana and We the Living, a support group in Fort Wayne for people who have lost loved ones to suicide.

A Suicide Prevention Resource Fair is scheduled for Wednesday, September 13, where attendees can meet with campus and community leaders and visit resource sites for information on suicide prevention, mental health care education, coping skills, and how to help a friend in need. During the fair, the Save the Seven Challenge will be hosted in honor of the seven IPFW students lost to suicide in 2015. The challenge will test the participant’s knowledge of suicide statistics and suicide prevention. The fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Classic Ballroom, Room 114, and the hallways of Walb Student Union.

On Thursday, September 14, the university will host a panel presentation and discussion on 13 Reasons Why, the Netflix television series about a high school student who reveals why she completed suicide through a series of 13 tapes that narrate her life experiences. Panel members include Amy Gabriel, student; Jason Anderson, activities coordinator for student life and leadership; Ewelina Connolly, clinical director at Caring About People, Inc.; John Kaufeld, social media manager; and Floie Stouder, student assistance program. Panelists will discuss how the series impacted them and the people in their lives. They will also offer information and support for people who struggle or who have lost a loved one to suicide. The discussion will take place in the Walb Classic Ballroom from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Lunch will be available for attendees.

There are two Project COMPASS (COMmunity Partners Against Student Suicide) Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper Training sessions scheduled. Project COMPASS is a comprehensive suicide prevention and health promotion program on campus, with a mission to provide suicide awareness and gatekeeper education and training all through the campus community. Gatekeeper training involves the general public how to recognize the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to question, persuade, and refer (QPR) someone to help.

The first session will take place Thursday, September 14, from 2 to 5 p.m. in Room G83 in Kettler Hall. The second session is scheduled on Friday, September 15, from 9 a.m. to noon, also in Room G83 of Kettler Hall. Send an email to to register for training.

All of the events are free and open to the public.

Suicide Prevention Week is sponsored by Project COMPASS at IPFW, and supported by the Center for Healthy Living: Campus Clinic and Wellness Programs; Student Affairs, Office of the Dean of Students, Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, Student Housing, HHS Student Success Center, Military Student Services, Peer Educators Program, Active Minds, Psi Chi, Psychology Club, The Resource Center, Army ROTC, VA Northern Indiana Health Care System, Behavioral Health and Family Studies Institute, IPFW/Parkview Student Assistance Program, and Human Resources and Office of Institutional Equity.

For more information, contact Judy Tillapaugh, at 260-481-6647 or