URBANA, Ill. (WCIA)– University students held a vigil to promote suicide prevention Sunday afternoon. Organizers say they were inspired to speak up after a recent suicide on campus. They want struggling students to know the whole community is here to support them.
“I know some people aren’t comfortable coming out about it themselves,” Sarena Abdallah said. “So us as a group and as a student body we have to advocate for one another, and those who aren’t doing so yet.”
She says the large turnout shows many students on campus take their mental health seriously.
“It just shows a sense of not being alone, and that a lot of people at uiuc and around the globe are dealing with these kinds of situations,” Abdallah said. “And the fact that so many people came out today shows that we’re willing to stand in solidarity for one another, and we have to be easy on ourselves because nobody else is.”
Many of the students who spoke at the vigil shared their stories about struggling with mental health during the semester. They’re asking for the university to do more in terms of paying attention to the mental health of students on campus.
Another organizer says she believes that the university will do the right thing.
“I know there’s good people in the administration. Even though I criticize and critique them, I believe in that,” Janina Rojas said. “That there are good people who want to help students. It takes a village, and so i’m grateful to anyone.”
Any student who’s struggling with mental health are encouraged to reach out to one of these resources for help:
- Rosecrance Health Network: 888-928-5278
Free classes for families, virtual assessments, counseling, a Parent Cafe, webinars and more.
- Illinois Call4Calm Text Line
Text TALK to 552020 for English or HABLAR for Spanish
- National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
- More services at IDHS
- Text HOME to 741741 for Counseling via Text
- University of Illinois Counseling Center: 217-333-3704