Cerritos informs students on preventing suicide

Cerritos College held a suicide prevention event for students struggling with mental health or want more information.
German Escobar with the Words of Encouragement board filled up by posted notes handwritten from students in the shape of a heart.
German Escobar with the “Words of Encouragement” board filled up by posted notes handwritten from students in the shape of a heart.
Ifeoma Utom

A presentation on mental health & suicide prevention slips through the cracks due to a struggle in outreach.

The Student Health Services held a Suicide Prevention Presentation on Sept. 14 from noon to 1 p.m. at the Learning Resource Center in the teleconference room, the same building as the school’s library.

German Escobar, the newest therapist intern, gave a presentation defining suicide and how to prevent it. They also discussed what signs to look for, how to cope with a loved one struggling with mental health and what resources are available to assist students.

However, only a few faculty attended.

According to National Statistics provided by the University of Michigan, suicide is the #2 leading cause of death in college students with approximately 1,110 college student suicides happening per year.

The Student Health Services offer students a variety of health services: a chiropractor, nutritionist, dermatologist, therapist and even a nurse practitioner on sight.

The health fee that students pay for included in their tuition covers all of these services.

Yet the department struggles with getting students to come to these kinds of workshops that provide them with more information about the resources they have access to on top of the support students receive.

Why aren’t more students showing up to these workshops?

“There’s a stigma that surrounds mental health in a lot of populations, not just here at Cerritos,” Escobar said, “students could think, if I go [to the health clinic] people might think I’m crazy…people may think I’m weak.”

Asking for help is never a sign of weakness, Escobar says.

Escobar believes that providing students with an incentive can help promote workshops and bridge the gap in successful outreach of the students.

“Hopefully in the future, we can work with faculty to help promote our workshops, maybe they can provide their students with a little extra credit for coming to our events,” he said.

That idea is just a steppingstone for the clinic as they continue to think of ways to help get these resources out to students.

Students are offered six free and confidential sessions initially per academic year, which include, but are not limited to: support, problem- and coping skills.

Currently enrolled Cerritos College students are welcome to visit or call Student Health to schedule an initial appointment at (562) 860-2451 Ext. 2321 (press option 3).

Two cancellations will be allowed per semester and failure to keep an appointment without 24-hour notice will count toward your therapy session count. Failure to keep two appointments will result in the suspension of the use of services.

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About the Contributor
Ifeoma Utom
Ifeoma Utom, Co-News Editor
Ifeoma Utom is the co-news editor for Talon Marks covering all things news related on Cerritos College campus. When she is not news reporting, Ifeoma loves to enjoy a nice book to read or hanging out with her friends. She writes poetry in her spare time and enjoys the fine arts of opera and ballet. Ifeoma will graduate this spring semester and plans to take some time off to travel and explore what the world has to offer.
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