By Sam Arseneau
Plaque placed at World Suicide Prevention Day event at UPEI (Photo credits: Sam Arseneau)
On Tuesday, September 10th students, faculty, and guests alike gathered to watch the unveiling of a new addition to the campus in honour of World Suicide Prevention Day.
The event saw a tree and plaque have been added to the quad, by Cass Science Building, to commemorate loved ones lost to suicide.
There were a number of speakers at the event, speaking about their work, connection to mental health, as well as sharing personal stories of their struggles. Among the speakers were Tessa Rogers, Vice President Student Life, who both emceed the event and spoke about her own history, as well as Grace Gibson who spearheaded the event and worked closely with Tessa to make it happen. Courtney Sark, co-president of Jack.org, also had some moving words within her speech.
“Although it may seem like a small step, small steps cause revolutions,” she said.
Around 15 people stood and listened to the words spoken by the guest speakers.
Kali Ross, a student who attended the event, had some words to say on the importance of this unveiling.
“Having this tree on campus in memory of those we’ve lost to suicide means a lot to me as someone who has personally struggled with thoughts of suicide, and has been impacted by suicide in general, knowing people who have died by suicide. It’s a reminder that the university cares, and that people on campus care. Hopefully [that] it will help those that are struggling know that people care and they’ll seek out help.”
Students, faculty, and the public can go see the plaque and tree for themselves at any time, and keep that reminder with them. In the words of Tessa Rogers, “and remember, you’re cared for.”