Suicide Prevention Organization Launches National Education Program for College Students

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Contact: Alexis O’Brien, PR Director, 347-826-3577, [email protected]

AFSP Premiers New Film “It’s Real: College Students and Mental Health”

NEW YORK (April 5, 2017) – Each year, 18 percent of undergraduate students and 15 percent of graduate students report having seriously considered suicide in their lifetimes (Schwartz, 2011), with between 40 and 50 percent reporting multiple episodes of serious suicidal thoughts (Drum, 2009). But only 26 percent of depressed students receive mental health treatment (ACHA, 2015). Today the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the nation’s largest suicide prevention organization, launches a new national education program aimed at college students which consists of an 18-minute film, It’s Real: College Students and Mental Health, and accompanying materials to encourage viewers to get the help they need.

“The new film and program resources are designed to raise awareness about mental health issues commonly experienced by students. By featuring the true stories and experiences of six college students, It’s Real conveys that depression and other mental health conditions are real illnesses that can be managed through specific treatments and support. It encourages students to be mindful of the state of their mental health, to acknowledge and recognize when they are struggling, and to take steps to seek help,” said AFSP chief medical officer Dr. Christine Moutier.

Based on current available research about the best practices in encouraging help-seeking behavior, this 18-minute film is accompanied by a facilitator’s guide containing talking points and additional information, and is intended to be shown as a presentation by a trained facilitator.

AFSP has a variety of education programs aimed at teens and young adults, including the Interactive Screening Program (ISP), an online tool used by college and university counseling centers to reach distressed students and help connect them to mental health services before a crisis emerges. AFSP is expanding the program in 2017 to 20 additional colleges and universities nationwide. Additionally, hundreds of Out of the Darkness Walks have taken place on college campuses this year, organized by college students to raise awareness of the importance of suicide prevention.

The program (film with accompanying materials) costs $79.99, and can be purchased in either DVD or digital download format.

View the trailer

 

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide. AFSP creates a culture that’s smart about mental health through education and community programs, develops suicide prevention through research and advocacy, and provides support for those affected by suicide. Led by CEO Robert Gebbia and headquartered in New York, AFSP has local chapters in all 50 states with programs and events nationwide. AFSP celebrates 30 years of service to the suicide prevention movement. Learn more about AFSP in its latest Annual Report, and join the conversation on suicide prevention by following AFSP on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

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