LINCOLN–Even though many events have been canceled in order to protect the public from COVID-19, one event surrounding an important topic is still taking place–virtually. The University of Nebraska–Lincoln (UNL) student group “Out of the Darkness” is hosting a virtual walk to raise awareness for suicide prevention.
At 1 p.m. on Sunday, April 26 students and the general public are invited to take part in the virtual campus walk designed to raise awareness and funds for suicide prevention. Walk donations will be accepted until June 30 and you can click here to view the event Facebook page.
KCNI/KBBN visited with UNL sophomore Emma Sidel who said learning from home has been interesting, but she has been impressed with how her professors have handled the transition to online learning during the coronavirus.
Sidel, whose family lives in Broken Bow, said the Out of the Darkness Group at UNL is associated with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). The group hosts general member meetings throughout the year at UNL and talks with other on-campus organizations about the resources available for anyone struggling with mental health or for people who have known someone affected by suicide.
“Our main goal is we want to share resources for suicide prevention both on campus and off campus, so letting students know about the counseling and psychological services and the Big Red Resilience and Well Being services, those are on campus, and then also off campus resources like the suicide hotline and other text lines or warn lines that are available at all times for free,” Sidel said.
The virtual Facebook Live event will feature a guest speaker and will give participants the option of donating to the foundation. Sidel told KCNI/KBBN that in the time of the coronavirus many people might be experiencing more stress or anxiety than normal and said links are available on the Out of the Darkness Facebook page.
“I think because of all this anxiety and the situation is triggering a lot of mental health related problems right now. So I think it’s extra important to remind people that they’re not alone and they do have theses resources available still,” Sidel said.
Visit afsp.org/unl to register for the walk, set up a fundraiser, find ways to get involved with the walk, and get self-care information. Everyone is encouraged to go on a walk in their house, backyard, or neighborhood.
“I just want to remind everyone that they’re not alone and that there are lots of people that you can reach out to, talk to, get help,” Sidel continued. “Even though we’re social distancing that doesn’t’ mean to be socially distant from others, you should still be in contact with others people because I know there are some really hard times right now.”