Ohlone Takes Steps to Bring Suicide Out of the Darkness in 5K Walk

Monday, April 4, 2016, Office of College AdvancementOhlone Takes Steps to Bring Suicide Out of the Darkness in 5K Walk 

**For Immediate Release** 

Fremont, CA — Ohlone College’s sixth annual “Out of the Darkness Walk” takes place on April 13, 2016, sponsored by STEP Up Ohlone, in association with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). This year’s event, held on Ohlone’s Newark campus, brings students, faculty and community members together to shed light on suicide prevention efforts across the College. The annual 5K walk offers a chance for participants to make friends, meet allies, find emotional support, and build community. Funds are for vital research, education, advocacy, suicide prevention initiatives, and programs to support those impacted by suicide.

“Thanks to events like this walk, we are beginning to make a dent in the way the Ohlone community thinks about mental health,” said Sally Bratton, Director of the Student Health Center. Bratton continued, “Out of the Darkness demonstrates that there is social support for those who struggle with depression and thoughts of suicide, and those with friends or family who are suffering.”

Sang Leng Trieu, Project Director of STEP Up Ohlone said, “It’s a powerful thing to be part of something that is so positive and life affirming. Far too many of us know what it’s like to lose someone we love from suicide.” The walk’s original purpose on campus was to honor Ohlone staff member Stewart Dawson, who died by suicide in December 2010.

Last year’s walk raised over $2,700 and brought together over 40 participants.

The STEP Up Ohlone Program is funded by a three-year federal SAMHSA grant and works to promote student mental health and remove the stigma and prejudice around seeking treatment.

Check-in for the Out of the Darkness 5K begins at 11:00 am on April 13, 2016, and the walk commences at 12:00 pm. To make a donation, for more information, or to register in advance, please visit http://www.ohlone.edu/go/campuswalk.

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Ohlone STEPs Up with Successful Depression Day Screening Event

October 8th, 2015 was National Depression Screening Day.  In solidarity with the national movement, STEP Up Ohlone doubled down on its commitment to support the Ohlone community by holding screenings at both the Newark and the Fremont campuses. Thanks to all who came out to be a part of it and to those who assisted the STEP Up Team. (Nancy Dinsmore and your awesome team of nursing friends, this means you!) Together we were able to screen more than 75 individuals! Through events like these Ohlone continues to demonstrate that we are a community, we are here for one another, and it’s perfectly okay to ask for help if you need it. Because you know what? From time to time, we all do! Click here to see photos of some of the folks who came out to help us make it a meaningful day.

Mental Illness Misconceptions

We believe with all our heart at STEP Up Ohlone that seeking mental health support is actually a sign of inner strength and by admitting we all need help from time to time (or maybe even longer) we are actually stepping into our power! As we work to de-stigmatize for the Ohlone College community and beyond, the seeking of mental health services, it’s crucial to have open and honest dialogue. Eric Revenscraft’s straigh-talking piece on Lifehacker is a great starting place. Read it here. Please.

Disturbing Trend in Suicide Rates for Children of Color

Jeffrey Bridge, an epidemiologist at the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, led a study that tracked suicide rates for ages 5 to 11 from 1993 to 2012. The white rate fell slightly while the rate for black children rose exponentially. Read Sabrina Tavernise’s piece in the New York Times here.