UofL and Clemson may be opponents on the field Saturday, but the two schools are unified around another, more important battle – the fight against suicide.
Game day marks the last day in Suicide Prevention Week and Cards Speak and Tigers Together, campus organizations with the mission of suicide prevention, have collaborated on a video that gives people resources they can turn to in a crisis. The video, which features students from Clemson and UofL, will be shown on the Jumbo Tron during half time of the game.
“With the right tools and training found at both schools, all students will be equipped to seek help for themselves and be able to assist others in crisis,” said UofL Student Government Association president Vishnu Tirumala.
Tracie Meyer, Cards Speak Coordinator, said the message is important as national research shows that one in 10 college students contemplate suicide at some point.
“That’s a whole range of actions and emotions,” Meyer said. “The hope is that the other nine out of 10 students can support that one student in getting the help they need.”
Michelle Jones, a mechanical engineering student at UofL’s Speed School of Engineering, knows how important the message is. She lost her brother to suicide last year. Since then, she and her family have committed themselves to honoring his memory through awareness with The Pete Foundation and Pete Fest.
“I think it’s incredibly important to get students on college campuses comfortable talking about their emotional well-being,” she said.
Jones, who works with Cards Speak, said she’s grateful for the opportunity to reach so many thousands of people on Saturday.
“The only way we can get through this, to really make a breakthrough and make a lasting difference, is to work together as a community,” she said.
Clemson and UofL are both recipients of the Garrett Lee Smith (GLS) Campus Suicide Prevention Grant, which helps fund their work.
Click here to watch a story by WHAS11 about the collaboration.
Cards Speak also worked this week with the School of Public Health and Information Sciences to screen the movie “Holden On” on campus. The movie, which is based on the true story of Holden Layfield, a 17-year-old boy who fights to keep his mental illness a secret, was followed by a panel discussion with director Tamlin Hall, actor Matthew Fahey and educator Morgan Melton.