Students and passers-by were encouraged to write down a positive message to contribute to the Alpha Phi Omega fraternity’s Wall of Hope on Titan Walk on Thursday.
The wall, which was up from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., aimed to spread hope and awareness for suicide prevention, a theme the fraternity has chosen to address throughout the 2017-18 academic year.
“I feel like (suicide) is something that’s being talked about, but it’s not being talked about enough, and there’s still a stigma around it,” said Alpha Phi Omega member Melonie Do, a third- year psychology major.
One entire side of Titan Walk was quickly filled with messages on Post-its varying from personal thoughts, to advice and encouragement for anyone struggling with depression or going through a difficult time.
“I was just passing by and figured I’d put some motivational messages up. There’s lots of issues with mental health that are not being met at face value,” said mechanical engineering major Max Baranoff.
Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and has been on the rise for the last decade. The foundation also specifically notes the amount of suicides by adolescents and young adults, which rose to 12.5 per every 100,000 Americans in 2015.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention also states that there are 25 suicide attempts per every suicide death.
Alpha Phi Omega hosted the Wall of Hope to kick off its organization’s National Service Week, an event that took place during the first week of November. Every chapter is “encouraged to carry out a new, high profile service project related to the program of emphasis and involving other chapters and the community,” according to the Alpha Phi Omega website.
Alpha Phi Omega members were present throughout the duration of the Wall of Hope display to supervise and provide materials for anyone who felt compelled to share a message.
“(The wall) is something to remind our students that it’s okay if you’re going through it and that we support you,” Do said.