CGCC hosts first Health and Wellness Day
Columbia Gorge Community College's Student Support Services will be hosting a Health and Wellness Day, Thursday, Sept. 28, as part of Welcome Week activities. Throughout the day, students can find healthful snacks, information about stress management and good self-care, and college and community resources to keep them on track to success.
A mindfulness-based Stress Management and Reduction Workshop, presented by Rebecca Hunter, MSW, will be held from 3 to 4 p.m. on The Dalles Campus (room to be determined). Please watch for more information around campus or follow our Facebook page to keep up-to-date on Support Services events and information now and throughout the year.
Student Support Services is a new function of the Student Services Department. While many of the services provided are not new, such as the PASS early alert program and Disability Resources, we are now able to provide students with brief, solution-focused counseling services, mental health education and resources, and help with referrals to community providers and programs. You can find more information on services and how to access at their webpage.
As added support, and for more resources and information, students can access www.ulifeline.org. Here, students will find self-assessment tools, self-care and wellness tips and articles, and information on common mental health challenges specifically for college students.
September is Suicide Prevention and Awareness month. This month Support Services is posting educational materials and events to help recognize the warning signs and learn how to help individuals who may be contemplating suicide.
Suicide is a major health issue but it's also a potentially preventable one. While there are several risk factors for suicide, any person who expresses suicidal thoughts or the intent to commit suicide should be taken seriously. Learning the warning signs is a good first step. Examples of some warning signs include:
- Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself
- Looking for a way to kill oneself, such as searching online or buying a gun
- Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
- Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
- Talking about being a burden to others
- Increased use of alcohol or drugs
- Acting anxious, agitated or behaving recklessly
- Sleeping too little/too much
- Withdrawing or feeling isolated
- Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
- Displaying extreme mood swings
One other sign is if a person begins to give away expensive or items that are prized and meaningful to the individual.
Wallet cards with this information are available in the Student Support Services office and at Welcome Week while supplies last.
If you are seeing or hearing any of these signs, the most important thing anyone can do is ASK. This could be, "I'm hearing you are really struggling. Are you thinking about killing yourself?" It is a common myth that asking will make a person feel uncomfortable, will put the idea into their head, or increase the risk. In truth, openly listening to and discussing these thoughts is often a source of great relief for persons having suicidal thoughts; it can be key to preventing the immediate danger and getting someone to a suicide helpline or other helping professional when needed.
There are reputable websites to help learn more about the signs and how to help. www.bethe1to.com and www.take5tosavelives.org/take-5-steps are two you can check out for independent learning on the topic.
Student Support Services is also hosting a Brown Bag presentation on Suicide Prevention specifically focused on college students, Thursday, Sept. 28, from noon to 1:30 pm in The Dalles Campus Board Room (Building 1). A "Community Conversation: Suicide Prevention" event will be held on the Hood River Campus, Wednesday, Sept. 27 from 6 to 7:30 pm, Room 1.202. This is a conversation-based presentation facilitated by Mid-Columbia Center for Living and Hood River County Prevention where students, staff, faculty and community members will learn about risk factors for suicide, warning signs, and how to help.