HARRISONBURG, Va ---- James Madison University students want to prevent suicide and keep their peers safe. They are raising awareness about this issue in National Suicide Prevention Week.
Every year, JMU campus leaders spend a week making sure students are aware of the warning signs and the resources.
Jenny Claire Knight is a member of Active Minds at JMU. It is a club that tries to increase mental health awareness on campus.
"I've had a lot of friends experience mental illnesses and disorders,” said Jenny. “I've seen them struggle with it, but I've also seen them overcome it."
Suicide impacts other groups on campus, too.
Anna White is part of the taekwondo club and her club's philanthropy is suicide awareness. It comes after they lost a member a few years ago.
"The person who passed away was one of my best friends. It really was a surprise to us," said Anna.
On Wednesday, Anna helped to make sure the same tragedy does not happen to anyone else.
"You can never really recognize all of the signs before it happens. There's things that you can look back and see, which is why it is so important that people are aware of any signs that they can recognize."
The goal for active minds is to spread the word before it is too late and to let people know it is okay to talk about mental illnesses.
Students wrote encouraging messages on board to let others know they are not alone.
"Having a conversation about it can reduce the burden so much, and just increase the amount of hope that someone has," said Erin Casey, president of Active Minds.
They want to make sure other students get the help they need. To members of the Active Minds organization, hope is the solution.
"I really believe in spreading the message of hope, that there is another option. There is another answer."
The Active Minds organization tries to encourage students to talk to a professional at the campus counseling center. Counseling is free to all JMU students.
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