Trojan Outreach introduces Semicolon Project

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Sarah Mountain

Staff Writer

Troy University’s Trojan Outreach program will be honoring Project Semicolon for the month of September, which is national suicide prevention month. 

The Semicolon Project is a non-profit organization started by Amy Bleuel in 2013 in memory of her father who committed suicide 10 years prior. The Semicolon Project is a movement dedicated to presenting hope and love for those who are struggling with mental illness or feelings of hopelessness. The basis of the semicolon, according to Project Semicolon’s website, is in literature. An author uses a semicolon not to end a sentence, but to continue it. The project hopes to encourage people to continue their stories and lives.

“My hopes and goals for the Semicolon Project are to reach students who are struggling with mental illness, self-injury or thoughts of suicide,” said Morgan Williams, coordinator of Trojan Outreach. “I am very hopeful that even though Troy has students that have struggled with these issues, they persevere because their lives matter more than they know. 

“I hope that when students interact with this month-long event, it will make them more aware of how prevalent it is among college students as well as non-college students.”

According to SafeColleges, a safety and compliance solutions provider which helps create safer and more inclusive colleges and universities, suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students.

The website also reports more than half of college students have had suicidal thoughts, 10% seriously consider attempting suicide and 80-90% of college students who die by suicide were not receiving help from college counseling centers.

“With suicide being so common, it hits home for us,” Williams said. “Trojan Outreach’s peer educators want to spread the message that your story matters enough to continue. 

“We want the students at Troy to be more aware of suicide and how it affects everyone regardless of age, gender, religion or ethnicity. Every single student on our campus matters to someone. By doing the Semicolon Project and reaching students the way that we do makes a difference.”

Williams also said that the student counseling center is a great resource for students. 

Beginning Fall semester 2020, Troy University’s Student Counseling Center will be offering the option of in-person or distance counseling for students currently taking at least 1 credit hour in person on the Troy campus.

Any students experiencing mental health issues can contact the student counseling center at (334) 670-3700 to make an appointment, or for immediate emergencies, call 911 or the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

For more information on Project Semicolon on campus, follow @trojan_outreach on Instagram.

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